By Scott Wong - 04/02/15 05:21 PM EDT
Republicans on Thursday ripped the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE (R-Ohio) demanded that lawmakers be able to review details of the framework before any international sanctions are lifted.
“After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East this week, my concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown,” BoehnerJohn BoehnerRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare The disorderly order of presidential succession MORE said in a statement after leading a GOP delegation through Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“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,” the Speaker said.
Defense hawks on Capitol Hill blasted the deal as too weak and warned that it would essentially put nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian regime.
“Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Iranian aggression is destabilizing the Middle East. And Iran continues to hold multiple Americans hostage,” said freshman Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonFears mount that Obama will change course on Israel in final months GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase GOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea MORE (R-Ark.), who earlier had penned a controversial letter to Iranian leaders in a bid to derail the nuclear talks.
“I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect America from this very dangerous proposal," he said, "and to stop a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region.”
Under the emerging deal between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers, international sanctions on Tehran would be lifted in exchange for new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiators hope to reach a final deal by a June 30 deadline.
President Obama hailed the agreement in a Rose Garden news conference, saying it would make the U.S. and its allies much safer. Democrats praised Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryTime for Action on Bahrain When wise men attack: Why Gates is wrong about Clinton, Libya Internal memo: Refugee program vulnerable to fraud MORE and the administration for reaching a “breakthrough” but still said they would approach the agreement cautiously.
“I believe this is a deal worth supporting, but we must wait to ensure there is no backsliding on any parameters before a final agreement is signed,” said Rep. John YarmuthJohn YarmuthDem lawmakers: Clinton should have disclosed illness sooner House Dems to GOP on gun reprimands: 'Bring it on' Overnight Regulation: Obama unveils new Arctic drilling rules | GOP pushes regulatory budget MORE (D-Ky.), who was on hand for Obama’s White House announcement.
One likely GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate rivals gear up for debates Rubio: End of Obama's term could be 'most damaging yet' Fifteen years since pivotal executive order, STORM Act could help fight terror finance MORE (R-Fla.), used the nuclear deal to highlight what he sees as Obama’s broader foreign policy failures. The senator called the initial details of the deal “very troubling” because it would allow Tehran to retain thousands of centrifuges and wouldn’t rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
“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,” said Rubio, a member of the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees.
“Iran’s support for terrorism has continued unabated without a serious response from the United States.”