By Frank Lewis
President Obama calls the deal agreed to with Iran a comprehensive, long-term deal that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy can bring — change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure,” Obama said. “We negotiated from a position of strength and principle — and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon.”
Reaction from the Ohio delegation in Washington has been swift and somewhat guarded.
“Americans prefer a diplomatic solution that ensures Iran cannot develop or obtain a nuclear weapon,” Brown said. “If early reports are correct, it appears the agreement the U.S. and other U.N. Security Council nations have finally reached with Iran is the kind of durable and verifiable agreement that is far preferable to further escalation and possible military action,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, said. “I have not seen the details, and look forward to being briefed on its terms. Congress must now review the agreement to ensure that it will cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, and that the sharp limits it imposes on Iran’s nuclear program can be verified by international inspectors. This is one of the most significant national security issues Congress will face in a generation; it should not be subject to the kinds of partisan attacks and political ad wars we have seen in recent months. Congress should give this agreement the careful consideration and serious debate it deserves.”
His Republican counterpart, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was equally careful with his reaction.
“I look forward to reviewing details of the nuclear agreement reached earlier today in Vienna. As I have said since the start of this process, I will weigh this agreement on the merits,” Portman said. “I will be reviewing whether it is enforceable—both through effective international monitoring and the ability to re-impose sanctions if violations occur while assuring that sanctions relief is not given unless and until Iran meets its commitments—and whether the agreement prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapon capability. This is of the utmost importance for our own national security, as well as for our close allies in the region such as Israel. Congress has a responsibility to carefully review the agreement to ensure it is in the best interests of our national security.”
Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced an agreement in nuclear negotiations with Iran:
“This morning, we woke up to learn that a deal had been struck, through a parade of American concessions, to reduce the pressure on the world’s largest state sponsor of terror – an agreement that would legitimize the Iranian regime, and bring it ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
“From the initial reports I have read and briefings I have received on this agreement, ‘irresponsible’ seems like a generous way to describe the actions of the Obama Administration. Iran is gleeful, and it appears they have reason to be. Sanctions would be lifted and their nuclear program validated. This agreement would not even require nuclear inspections at Iranian military sites. President Obama and his team could not even successfully negotiate the release of American political prisoners held by Iran as part of this deal.”
Johnson went on to say the world faces the troubling prospects of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East should the agreement be finalized. He said Iran’s neighbors – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan – will likely not sit idly by as – “the nuclear program of the region’s bully receives Washington’s stamp of approval. With ISIS pillaging large parts of the Middle East, the potential for more nuclear weapons there should give everyone pause.”
The president has threatened to veto any action taken by Congress to block the agreement.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
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