US Senate(WASHINGTON) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, saying it is a result of a “flawed perspective” on the part of the Obama administration.
“The comprehensive nuclear agreement announced today appears to further the flawed elements of April’s interim agreement because the Obama Administration approached these talks from a flawed perspective: reaching the best deal acceptable to Iran, rather than actually advancing our national goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.
He said the Senate “must now weigh why a nuclear agreement should result in reduced pressure on the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” adding that senators will hold hearings and examine the deal.
“The test of the agreement should be whether it leaves our country and our allies safer,” McConnell said.
House Speaker John Boehner also blasted the deal, noting that President Obama “abandoned his own goals” with a deal that “will only embolden Iran.”
“His ‘deal’ will hand Iran billions in sanctions relief while giving it time and space to reach a break-out threshold to produce a nuclear bomb — all without cheating,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement.
He continued, “Instead of making the world less dangerous, this ‘deal’ will only embolden Iran — the world’s largest sponsor of terror — by helping stabilize and legitimize its regime as it spreads even more violence and instability in the region.
Boehner added that the deal is likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world, and despite a veto warning from the president, Boehner said he won’t support an agreement that jeopardizes the safety of America.
“We will fight a bad deal that is wrong for our national security and wrong for our country,” Boehner said.
Read statements from other lawmakers below, including Democrats, who were reticent to comment on the deal itself:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:
“The historic nuclear agreement announced today is the product of years of tough, bold and clear-eyed leadership from President Obama. I commend the President for his strength throughout the historic negotiations that have led to this point. I join him in commending Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz for their leadership. A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable to the United States, unacceptable to Israel, and unacceptable to the world. Aggressive restrictions and inspections offer the best long-term plan to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Congress will closely review the details of this agreement.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“Congress has an obligation to vigorously and judiciously review the deal announced today with a seriousness of purpose. Negotiators have spent painstaking time and untold effort working on this accord. Congress in turn must fulfill its oversight responsibilities and conduct a thorough, rigorous, and evenhanded review. There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments. Congress faces a solemn charge that I expect will be fulfilled to the best of our abilities and at the highest of standards beginning today.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee:
“As the terms and consequences of this agreement become clear during the period of Congressional review, I would urge my colleagues to give the measure the serious thought it deserves. If the agreement is flawed it should be rejected; at the same time, we must not compare the proposal to an ideal, but rather to any credible alternative. Will rejection of the deal lead to additional sanctions and an Iran willing to concede more, or to renewed enrichment and a path to war? These are the stakes and our decision should be made with sober thought and a minimum of partisan demagoguery.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“I applaud the U.S. negotiating team for its hard work to find a diplomatic solution to peacefully limit Iran’s nuclear program. A nation’s commitment to diplomacy is every bit as important as its commitment to military strength. Now that the negotiations have concluded, Congress must give the deal a thorough and independent review to ensure it cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“I want to read the agreement in detail and fully understand it, but I begin from a place of deep skepticism that the deal actually meets the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In the coming days, Congress will need to scrutinize this deal and answer whether implementing the agreement is worth dismantling our painstakingly-constructed sanctions regime that took more than a decade to establish. Iran continues to be the lead sponsor of terrorism in the world and relieving sanctions would make the Tehran regime flush with cash and could create a more dangerous threat to the United States and its allies.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.:
“Sadly, the Administration just lit the fuse for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. We all know Iran’s neighbors will not sit idly as the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror becomes a nuclear-threshold state,” Sasse warns. “Congress will thoroughly review it in the coming weeks but this much is immediately clear: this deal abandons America’s historic bipartisan commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation, and instead begins the era of managed proliferation—a descent into chaos and an even more dangerous world.”
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