John Boehner, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said Thursday that the framework nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is an "alarming departure" from President Barack Obama's initial goals, Reuters reported.
He did not outline how the deal departed from initial negotiating goals, but he said Congress must fully review the deal before any sanctions on Iran are lifted.
"In the weeks ahead, Republicans and Democrats in Congress will continue to press this administration on the details of these parameters and the tough questions that remain unanswered," Boehner said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Congressman Peter Roskam, who represents Illinois's 6th congressional district and is co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, said the talks between Iran and world powers are headed towards a “dangerous” agreement.
“Yesterday may have been April Fools’ Day, but these endless negotiations with Iran are no joke,” Roskam said in a statement. “One year of talks has only yielded more talks and contours of a dangerous final agreement with Iran that makes no demonstrable progress on the legitimate security concerns of the American people and the international community.”
“The statement of progress announced today promises the Iranian regime everything it wants: billions of dollars in additional sanctions relief, renewed legitimacy on the international stage, and explicit permission to permanently maintain a robust nuclear infrastructure. In exchange the United States and our partners will get, at best, minimal restrictions on peripheral aspects of Iran’s nuclear program and more empty promises from a dictatorial regime that continues to sponsor the world’s worst terrorists organizations, imprison innocent American citizens, and call for the destruction of the United States and Israel. And, perhaps worst of all, the deal will likely expire in just ten years, at which point the mullahs can freely pursue a nuclear weapon,” he continued.
“As the Obama administration goes into full-spin mode to sell more talks to the American people, thousands of centrifuges will continue to spin in Iran. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that any final deal must first come to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote. In the meantime, Congress should immediately consider bipartisan, prospective sanctions on Iran to ensure that, should the talks fail, the United States will immediately and forcefully ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran,” said Roskam.
“While the Administration has evidently lost sight of its own objectives in its desperation to demonstrate some semblance of progress in these talks, their initial measure of success remains true today—no deal is better than a bad deal,” he concluded.
Several senators have been pushing for legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran and which Obama has threatened to veto.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that the Senate would vote on the sanctions bill if international negotiators miss their deadline for reaching a framework nuclear agreement.
If there is an agreement, he said, lawmakers would move ahead on a bill that would require Obama to submit the deal for Congress' approval. Obama has threatened to veto this bill as well.
Republicans have demanded that any deal with Iran be brought for approval before Congress, while Obama has made clear that he will not submit any deal for approval.