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Republicans Skeptical of Iran Deal

Senators Kirk, Graham and Congressman Cantor voice displeasure with agreement reached at Geneva.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/24/2013, 3:59 PM

Republican Rep. Eric Cantor
Republican Rep. Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor

Republicans reacted to the deal signed by six world powers and Iran with skepticism Saturday, reports The Hill.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said shortly after the deal was announced that it fell short, since it did not require the dismantling of any existing Iranian nuclear facilities.

“Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven’t gained anything,” he tweeted.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the agreement has not eased his concerns about Iran’s enrichment capabilities.

 “Numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions have called for the full suspension of Iran's nuclear activities, so it is troubling that this agreement still permits the Iranians to continue enriching,” the House majority leader said in a statement.

“It is critical that 'distrust but verify' be the guiding principle with which we approach this agreement,” he added

Cantor pointed to Iran’s “long history of noncompliance with the U.N. Security Council” as well as Tehran’s “use of secret facilities to pursue its nuclear program.”

“Iran remains the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism and the most destabilizing force in the Middle East,” Cantor added.

The Virginia Republican said the U.S. must remain vigilant and respond “immediately and severely to any cheating or wrongdoing by Iran.”

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who has sponsored legislation implementing additional sanctions on Iran, said that he also wanted to reach a diplomatic solution to halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but that the current deal did not do the job.

“This deal appears to provide the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in exchange for cosmetic concessions that neither fully freeze nor significantly roll back its nuclear infrastructure,” he said in a statement.

He called on the Senate to enact further sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic undermines the new agreement or if its nuclear program is not in the process of dissolution in six months.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate’s Minority Whip, dismissed the deal as an attempt by the administration to distract the public from the problematic "Obamacare" rollout.

 “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care,” the Senate Minority Whip tweeted shortly after the deal was announced.