US Republicans blast nuclear understanding with Iran
US Republicans blast a historic nuclear understanding with Iran, with some suggesting it would force Israel into an armed conflict with the Islamic Republic.
Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, adopted a joint statement Thursday following days of marathon talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
According to the framework agreement, none of Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the previous activities will be stopped, shut down or suspended and Iran will continue with its nuclear activities in all its nuclear facilities including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan and Arak.
Based on the agreement, all international sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic would be lifted in exchange for certain steps Tehran will take to limit its nuclear program.
“It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region,” US House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement on Thursday.
Boehner, whose decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak about Iran before Congress last month sparked strong criticism from the White House, said “my concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown.”
The Ohio Republican made the remarks after leading a GOP delegation through Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia this week.
Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican from Illinois, condemned the nuclear understating saying lifting any more sanctions on Iran “dooms the Middle East to yet another war.”
The hawkish senator told POLITICO that a nuclear deal “is going to end with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran.”
“We’re moving straight to forcing Israel to clean up this mess … when the West does nothing, Israel over and over has done something,” said Kirk, one of the architectures of Iran sanctions in the US Senate.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker vowed to press forward with his legislation allowing Congress to approve any final nuclear deal reached with Iran.
The Tennessee Republican warned the Obama administration not to sidestep the Republican-dominated Congress by taking the Iran agreement straight to the United Nations.
“Rather than bypass Congress and head straight to the UN Security Council as planned, the administration first should seek the input of the American people,” he said.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a freshman Republican from Arkansas who earlier penned an open letter to Iran’s leaders in a bid to “undermine” the nuclear talks, said, “I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect America from this very dangerous proposal… and to stop a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, said the nuclear agreement underscored the Obama administration’s broader foreign policy failures.
The potential GOP presidential candidate said the parameters of the nuclear deal were “very troubling” as Iran would continue to operate thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium.
“This attempt to spin diplomatic failure as a success is just the latest example of this administration’s farcical approach to Iran. Under this president’s watch, Iran has expanded its influence in the Middle East, sowing instability throughout the region,” Rubio added.
He made the remarks after US President Barack Obama hailed the “historic understating” with Iran, saying it paves the way for a final agreement in three months.
“Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal,” Obama said in a statement made from the Rose Garden of the White House on Thursday.
Iran and the P5+1 have set July 1 as the deadline for a comprehensive agreement.