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Lawmakers react to Iran nuclear deal

Below is a selection of statements from members of Congress reacting to the interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program reached early Sunday morning in Geneva. 

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.:

"I share the President's goal of finding a diplomatic solution to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, but 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.  Furthermore, the deal ignores Iran's continued sponsorship of terrorism, its testing of long-range ballistic missiles and its abuse of human rights."

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith, D-Wash.:

"The deal announced today is a positive step in the right direction and I applaud the Administration for making progress on this important national security issue.  It is vital that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in a peaceful way ... While today’s announcement represents serious progress, far more work remains to be done."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:

"This agreement makes a nuclear Iran more, not less, likely.  Just days ago, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, who will oversee implementation of this agreement, was calling Israel a 'rabid dog' and accusing the United States of war crimes.  Yet today the President is asking us to accept the pledges of a regime that still refuses to end it support for terrorism and admit the illicit nature of its past nuclear work ... In sum, this agreement shows other rogues that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands.  Iran will likely use this agreement and any that follows that does not require real Iranian concessions to obtain a nuclear weapons capability.

"I intend to work with my colleagues in the Senate to increase sanctions until Iran completely abandons its enrichment and reprocessing capabilities."

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.:

"I have little trust in the Iranian regime, and we will need to scrutinize Iranian behavior to ensure they do not cheat. If they do, or if at the end of six months they fail to agree on a final resolution, we must freeze all Iranian assets and ramp up even more punitive sanctions.  Iran must not mistake our resolve that it never be permitted to obtain the bomb, threaten the U.S. and Israel, and touch off a regional nuclear arms race.

"At the same time, if Iran's new President can make good on his stated intention, the next six months could mark a turning point in our relations with Iran of historic significance."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.:

"While I await specific details of the interim agreement, I remain concerned that this deal does not adequately halt Iran's enrichment capabilities. Numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions have called for the full suspension of Iran's nuclear activities, so it is troubling that this agreement still permits the Iranians to continue enriching. It is critical that distrust but verify be the guiding principle with which we approach this agreement."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, R-Calif.: 

"Instead of rolling back Iran’s program, Tehran would be able to keep the key elements of its nuclear weapons-making capability.  Yet we are the ones doing the dismantling – relieving Iran of the sanctions pressure built up over years.  This sanctions relief is more lifeline than 'modest.'  Secretary Kerry should soon come before the Foreign Affairs Committee to address the many concerns with this agreement."

House Armed Services Committee Chair Howard McKeon, R-Calif.:

"Iran hasn't given the world reason to be anything but deeply skeptical of any agreement that leaves their capacity to build nuclear weapons intact. The President sees wisdom in placing trust, however limited, in a regime that has repeatedly violated international norms and put America's security at risk. Apparently, America has not learned its lesson from 1994 when North Korea fooled the world.  I am skeptical that this agreement will end differently."