Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood causes headache for GOP in key S.C. race GOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday he’s “very worried” about the nuclear deal with Iran.

Graham argued the deal allows Iran to keep enriching uranium and is "far away" from an end game.


“The end game is to dismantle the plutonium reactor. The end game should be to stop enrichment," he said on CNN. "This still allows 18,000 centrifuges to stay in place and it basically just suspends construction of the plutonium reactor. We're so far away from what the end game should look like. I'm very worried.”

Israel and lawmakers from both parties have criticized the initial deal, arguing that while it freezes Iran's uranium enrichment, it does not reduce Iran's existing capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Iran argues the deal still allows it to enrich uranium. 

Graham is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering a bill that would toughen sanctions on Iran. The White House has pressed the Senate to hold off on new sanctions.

President Obama would veto any sanctions bill if it passed in Congress during the six months covered by the interim deal with Iran finalized over the weekend.

Graham said existing sanctions imposed by the Obama administration had worked, dealing a “body blow” to the Iranian economy.

“We had these guys on the rope. What I was looking for is an interim deal that went a long way toward the final deal. This actually leaves in place everything that would allow them to make a weapon.”

Graham said he’s worried about the interim deal with Iran because of North Korea’s defiance in previous situations dealing with its nuclear program.

“We did this with North Korea. They promise to not go forward on a reactor that’s about to come on line this year. When you relieve sanctions in North Korea, the North Koreans took the money and broke out. That’s exactly what I worry about here,” Graham said.