Cantor slams 'terrible deal with Iran'

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorRace for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement 2018 will test the power of political nobodies MORE (R-Va.) on Wednesday leveled a broadside against the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts with Iran. 

In an op-ed for Time magazine, Cantor exhorted President Obama to “abandon this terrible deal with Iran.”

Instead of pressuring the Senate to delay sanctions that sailed through the House on a 400-20 vote in July, Obama should “urge their immediate adoption” and “work with America’s international partners to impose real pressure on Iran.”

“The details of the interim nuclear deal reportedly offered to Iran are alarming,” Cantor wrote. “But even more alarming is the apparent objective of the Administration’s Iran diplomacy.

“The Administration doesn’t seek to end Iran’s nuclear program, but merely to stall it, even though Iran is on the threshold of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

Cantor said UN resolutions call for a full suspension of Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities, but a preliminary, confidence-building deal on the table in Geneva would only freeze the most advanced parts of Iran's nuclear program. 

“What does it say that the UN calls for full suspension while the American President is willing to accept far less?” he says.

“Any U.S. position must seek to end Iran’s nuclear program and its pursuit of a weapon outright,” he said, “and make clear that the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, a fount of instability, and a brutal theocracy cannot and must not be trusted with the means to produce fissile material.”

Cantor's position mirrors that of Israel, which has been lobbying heavily for the Senate to pass new sanctions. Other countries, including Saudi Arabia, have also lashed out against the proposal. 

The Obama administration is far from isolated, however. Its partners in the negotiations — Russia, China, Great Britain and Germany — agreed with the deal during talks two weeks ago and France, which had asked for conditions to be toughened, is also “fully on board,” according to National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

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