CAPITOL HILL: SKEPTICISM OVER IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL – CALL FOR MORE SANCTIONS

Fox News on November 24, 2013, reported that Congress is voicing widespread, bipartisan skepticism about the deal between the United States and Iran to curb that country’s nuclear program, with a group of top senators vowing to impose more sanctions on the isolated Middle East country. Excerpts below:

The announcement follows the overnight deal in which the U.S. and five other world powers agreed to ease billions of dollars worth of import-export sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear-enrichment program and a range of reaction off Capitol Hill.

“A nuclear weapons-capable Iran presents a grave threat to the national security of the United States and its allies and we are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring this capability,” the group said. “We will work together to reconcile Democratic and Republican proposals over the coming weeks and to pass bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation as soon as possible.”

The group of 15 senators included Democrats Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, as well as Republicans Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas.
Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that Iran was celebrating because its deal overnight with the U.S. and the five other world powers allows it to continue to enrich uranium while getting billions in crippling sanctions lifted.

He also said his greatest concern was that the Obama administration wouldn’t follow through on the terms of the deal — including daily inspections on Iran’s nuclear facilities and ensuring that the country sticks to new thresholds for nuclear enrichment — below levels toward building a nuclear weapon.

Iran agrees to turn off centrifuges, stop construction and fuel production at an unfinished nuclear reactor, limit its enrichment of uranium – needed to make a nuclear bomb — to 5 percent and dilute its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium.

Cornyn was among the most critical of the historic deal that President Obama is hailing as an “important first step.”

“Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care” tweeted Cornyn, referring to the White House and ObamaCare.

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