Republicans wary of Iran nuclear deal

Republicans reacted to a global diplomatic deal to slow Iran’s nuclear progress with skepticism Saturday.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project mocks Lindsey Graham's fundraising lag with Sarah McLachlan-themed video The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE (R-S.C.) contended shortly after the deal was announced that it fell short, since it did not require the dismantling of any existing Iranian nuclear facilities.

“Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven’t gained anything,” he tweeted.

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And Sen. John CornynJohn CornynHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost cybersecurity of local governments, small businesses On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami MORE (R-Texas), the Senate’s minority whip, dismissed the deal as an attempt by the administration to distract the public from the botched rollout of the healthcare reform law.

 “Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care,” the Senate minority whip tweeted shortly after the deal was announced.

Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Biden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' MORE (R-Ill.), who has been pushing hard on Congress to implement additional sanctions on Iran, said that he also wanted to reach a diplomatic solution to halting Iran’s nuclear program but that the current deal missed the mark.

“This deal appears to provide the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in exchange for cosmetic concessions that neither fully freeze nor significantly roll back its nuclear infrastructure,” he said in a statement.

He called on the Senate to enact further sanctions on Iran if that nation undermines the new agreement or if its nuclear program is not in the process of dissolution in six months.

But other GOP lawmakers adopted a “wait and see” approach and did not immediately denounce the deal.

“Just heard President Obama describe nuclear deal with Iran. Look forward to studying details,” Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHow fast population growth made Arizona a swing state Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) tweeted.

The White House, along with international diplomats, announced a six-month agreement between the global community and Iran to prevent that nation from pursuing a nuclear weapon. Under the agreement, Iran agreed to certain restrictions and heightened oversight of its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from global economic sanctions.

President Obama hailed the development, which came after hours of intense negotiations in Geneva among top diplomats. In late Saturday evening remarks, Obama said the diplomacy “opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure.”

And Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Warning signs flash for Trump on debates Divided country, divided church TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month MORE was less than surprised to see Republicans criticize the administration on the agreement.

“Gee, you mean the members of the other party are criticizing the president? I can't imagine that,” he deadpanned to reporters, adding that he planned to further explain the deal to lawmakers.