Disclosure of Iran's second uranium facility proves President Obama was premature to schedule negotiations with Tehran, a Republican lawmaker said Monday.

However, the White House has no choice but to proceed with the Oct. 1 talks between the P5+1 — a coalition of British, Chinese, French, German, Russian and U.S. negotiators — and the Iranian government, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) told MSNBC.

"I think the interesting thing here was the decision that the Obama administration made, perhaps weeks or months ago, that they wanted to enter into these talks with Iran, probably being fully aware that this secret facility existed, and they were willing to move forward unconditionally," said Hoekstra, the ranking member on the House's Permanent Select Intelligence Committee.

"Now ... they're locked in; they have to go on Thursday, so let's see what comes out of that," Hoekstra added.

The standoff between the United States and Iran intensified this weekend after President Barack Obama announced that U.S. intelligence officials had discovered a secret uranium enrichment site in the Iranian city of Qum.

Further antagonizing the conflict, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then authorized a series of short-range missile tests — a move the White House quickly denounced on Monday as "provocative."


While the story is still unfolding, lawmakers from both parties have increased their calls for a new round of sanctions on Tehran. But Hoekstra said Monday that Congress ought to consider a different course of action, as sanctions would only hurt the Iranian people, not deter the state's nuclear program.

"I think that if you put tough economic sanctions on Iran, what a regime like this will do ... is they will make sure it is the Iranian people that will be hurting," he said. "That will then give them the opportunity to go on international television and ... [show the United States] is hurting the Iranian people, and is really not stopping or changing their strategic direction."

But, Hoekstra added, "I'm not sure there are any good options at this point in time."