By Kyle Balluck - 11/24/13 08:40 AM EST
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said late Saturday an agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions would likely allow Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons capability.
"This agreement will not 'freeze' Iran's nuclear program and won't require the regime to suspend all enrichment as required by multiple UN Security Council resolutions,” the Florida Republican said in a statement. “By allowing the Iranian regime to retain a sizable nuclear infrastructure, this agreement makes a nuclear Iran more likely. There is now an even more urgent need for Congress to increase sanctions until Iran completely abandons its enrichment and reprocessing capabilities.”
Rubio said the agreement was “a blow to our allies in the region who are already concerned about America's commitment to their security and it sends the wrong message to the Iranian people, who continue to suffer under the repressive rule of their leaders who have only their own self-preservation in mind.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected the agreement, saying it “has made the world a much more dangerous place.”
“Israel is not bound by this agreement,” Netanyahu added. “We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability.”
"Just days ago, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, who will oversee implementation of this agreement, was calling Israel a 'rabid dog' and accusing the United States of war crimes,” Rubio said. “Yet today President Obama is asking us to accept the pledges of this regime, which still refuses to end its support for terrorism and admit the illicit nature of its past nuclear work."
"For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back," President Obama said in remarks at the White House. Obama emphasized that the six-month deal was just a "first step," but a critical one.
"This first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program," he said.