GOP Hawks Quick to Blast Iran Framework (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not long after President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry separately announced a framework agreement for a nuclear deal with Iran, one GOP senator was already likening it to appeasement.  

"Neville Chamberlain got a better deal from Adolf Hitler," Sen. Mark S. Kirk of Illinois said in a statement. "Under today’s deal, the United States and its international partners will dismantle the sanctions regime against Iran, while Iran, the world’s biggest exporter of terrorism, will be allowed to keep vast capabilities to make nuclear weapons."  

Kirk, who faces one of the toughest re-election challenges of the cycle in the blue state of Illinois, has been among Obama's loudest critics on policies regarding Iran.  

Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who spearheaded what became a controversial open letter to Iranian leadership about the role of Congress in negotiations over the country's nuclear program, decried the framework as "a list of dangerous U.S. concessions."  

“These concessions also do nothing to stop or challenge Iran’s outlaw behavior.  Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.  Iranian aggression is destabilizing the Middle East.  And Iran continues to hold multiple Americans hostage," Cotton said in his statement. "I will work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect America from this very dangerous proposal and to stop a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region."  

Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, who was among the few Republicans not signing the Cotton letter, was more circumspect in his reaction.  

"A nuclear-armed Iran would lead to a less safe and less secure world, which is why the stakes are so high in the pursuit of a strong agreement that is fully enforceable, verifiable and is in our national security interests," the Tennessee Republican said.. “It is important that we wait to see the specific details of today’s announcement, and as the P5-plus-one works toward any final deal, we must remain clear-eyed regarding Iran’s continued resistance to concessions, long history of covert nuclear weapons-related activities, support of terrorism, and its current role in destabilizing the region."  

Corker plans to move forward when the Senate returns with legislation that the White House has opposed to provide for congressional approval of any final agreement, and he encouraged the administration not to take any agreement directly to the United Nations.  

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