After ongoing talks that spanned 20 months, a deal aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program was announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama.
Led by the United States, Iran and a group of six other nations agreed to significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade with the goal of easing global fears of a nuclear-armed Iran threatening the Middle East. In return, Iran would get billions of dollars in relief from lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
Congress has some say in the future of this deal. The Associated Press reports Congress has a 60-day review period “during which Obama cannot make good on any concessions to the Iranians. U.S. lawmakers could hold a vote of disapproval and take further action.”
Here are reactions from the Alabama delegation to the announced nuclear agreement between the United States, Iran, France, China, United Kingdom, Russia. We will be updating this post as they come in:
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby:
Today’s announced nuclear agreement with Iran is a bad deal for the American people. For the past several months, I have been concerned that President Obama was chasing a deal with Iran just for the sake of reaching an agreement. This deal wrongly prioritizes Iran’s objectives rather than the goal of the United States: to end Iran’s nuclear program.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01):
From the start of these talks I have warned that President Obama and his negotiating team were desperate for a foreign policy victory, and I fear the safety of Americans and our allies in the Middle East will be at greater risk because of this deal.
Iran is no friend of the United States, and we should all be concerned about what they will do with billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Even Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey has stated that sanctions relief would allow Iran to send more money to terrorist groups in the Middle East.
Congress will now have an opportunity to closely scrutinize and vote on this agreement, and I call on my colleagues to look past the short-term rhetoric and instead focus on the long-term implications this deal could have on our national security and the safety of our allies abroad.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02):
We’ve known for weeks now that Secretary Kerry and negotiators have been back-peddling, but I had hoped that by speaking out we could encourage them to strengthen their adherence to American interests. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked.
The Obama Administration has insisted for years that Iran does not have a right to enrich uranium and that any lifting of sanctions would come with requiring Iran to acknowledge and dismantle their nuclear weapon program. What was announced today fails to meet even those basic objectives, and Americans should be very disappointed that President Obama and Secretary Kerry abandoned their own goals to strike a deal with Iran.
More broadly, I fear this deal will work to aggravate an already dangerous and volatile region. It’s no secret that Iran is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. I fear this deal will only embolden those efforts with little more than hope that they’ll change their ways.
Today, Iran’s decades of hostility and deception has been rewarded with a plum deal that ensures they’ll have a nuclear weapon before long. The message that sends to other rogue nations is dangerous and alarming.
Congress has 60 days to review this deal and render its judgment. We must use this time to inspect this agreement carefully and judge it based on what was promised to Congress and to the American people.
I believe my colleagues on both sides of the aisle must prepare to stand up and assert our authority to stop a potentially bad deal from going forward on behalf of the American people.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03):
I was very disappointed in today’s announcement of the Iran nuclear deal. Iran is a state that cannot be trusted and this deal rewards bad behavior while compromising our national and global security. I am completely opposed to this deal.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04) via Facebook:
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07):
I commend the efforts of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Moniz and their team in securing a diplomatic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. To be sure, it is not in the interest of the United States or its allies for Iran to ever develop a nuclear weapon. I agree with President Obama that no deal is better than a bad deal and it is through that prism that I will thoroughly review and evaluate this agreement. We cannot sign any agreement with Iran based on trust, nor should sanctions be loosed unless Iran meets its obligations and such compliance can be verified. We must remain ever vigilant in our insistence that Iran never reaches nuclear capability.