Both parties harshly criticize Obama administration’s deal aimed at curbing Iranian nuclear program
By End the LieIndividuals from both parties in Washington lashed out against the Obama administration over the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, which was reached Saturday with five other major world powers.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seemed to view the deal positively, saying that world powers recognized his country’s “nuclear rights.”
Individuals in Congress, however, are saying that the deal gives too much to Iran by lifting sanctions just to get a deal through.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, said the deal is “so far away from what the end game should look like,” according to the Guardian.
Graham told CNN that he believes the goal of any deal “should be to stop enrichment.” Yet Iran had previously stated that they consider their “right to enrichment” a non-negotiable.
“This [deal] allows 18,000 centrifuges to stay in place and it basically suspends construction of the plutonium reactor. We’re so far away what the end game should look like. I’m very worried,” Graham said.
Yet it is not just Republicans speaking out against the deal, which is expected to a certain extent.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also criticized the Obama administration’s deal with Iran.
“This agreement did not proportionately reduce Iran’s nuclear program,” Menendez said in a statement.
The Obama administration is already defending the deal.
Tony Blinken, deputy national security adviser for the Obama administration, said on NPR that the deal is positive because “for the first time in a decade, it halts Iran’s program, and indeed it rolls it back in certain key respects.”
Some contend that Congress could actually derail the deal with Iran, since the goals of some in Congress “diverge sharply from the goals of the White House,” as Businessweek’s Cameron Abadi puts it.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is among those who take a line thoroughly opposed to that of the Obama administration.
“There is now an even more urgent need for Congress to increase sanctions until Iran completely abandons its enrichment and reprocessing capabilities,” Rubio said in response to the deal made in Geneva.
Currently, a bipartisan group in Congress is pushing a bill that would automatically put new sanctions in place if Iran fails to sign on to a more comprehensive deal during the six-month period of the interim agreement.
If signed into law, it could also specify boundaries for the negotiations and what Congress would consider an acceptable comprehensive agreement.
Interestingly, some in Iran are also unhappy with the deal. One hardline news outlet in Iran said that “there is no doubt the agreement is oppressive” and another saying that the agreement did not concede Iran’s supposed “right to enrich.”
The opinions published in the more reformist media outlets in Iran said that the agreement in Geneva might signal a shift towards a new political culture in Iran and a foreign policy pivot, according to Time.
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