By Scott Wong - 04/02/15 05:21 PM EDT
Republicans on Thursday ripped the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan 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 BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan 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 CottonGOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Sessions warns of 'radical' Clinton immigration policy The Trail 2016: Berning embers 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 KerryDozens of Clinton meetings left off State schedule: report Overnight Cybersecurity: Sit-in disrupts cyber hearings | Trump tries to defend claim Clinton was hacked Kerry backs government access to encrypted data 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 YarmuthCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in A case for the Yarmuth-Price resolution Subcommittee clears bill on cap for phone, internet subsidies MORE (D-Ky.), who was on hand for Obama’s White House announcement.
One likely GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I didn't run for the Senate to run for president again' Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' 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.”