WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Republican lawmakers took to Twitter to question the historical agreement reached with Iran and six world powers.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn tweeted, “Amazing what WH [White House] will do to distract attention from O-care.”
Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 24, 2013
In response to Cornyn’s tweet, David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, tweeted, “No, a real distraction would be war. Like Iraq.”
No, a real distraction would be war. Like Iraq. RT@JohnCornyn: Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care”
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) November 24, 2013
Another Republican, Sen. Lindsay Graham also took to Twitter in disagreement of the deal reached.
“Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven’t gained anything,” Graham tweeted Saturday night.
Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven’t gained anything. #IranNukes
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) November 24, 2013
Obama called the breakthrough agreement between Iran and six world powers an important “first step” toward resolving a dangerous nuclear situation.
The United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia came to agreement with Iran after days of negotiations to curb Tehran’s atomic ambitions in exchange for limited sanctions.
Obama said at the White House that the agreement has “opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure – a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.”
He said the deal was the result of “intensive diplomacy.”
“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal,” Obama stated. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment, and neutralizing part of its stockpile.”
The deal is for six months and is geared towards making way for a broader agreement with Iran. Under this deal, modest relief from U.S. economic sanctions will be given in exchange for the progress on key elements of Iran’s nuclear program to be halted.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was pleased with the deal.
“We need to start moving in the direction of restoring confidence, a direction in which we have managed to move against in the past,” he told reporters in Geneva, according to CBS News.
However, Obama did state that if Iran does not hold up its end to the agreement, the deal would be off the table.
“If Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure,” he said.
Iran’s nuclear energy program has a long history of evading U.N. inspectors and investigations, CBS News reported. The goal had been to cap the program and remove any risk of Tehran covertly refining uranium to a level suitable for bombs.
With this short-term agreement, billions of dollars in Iranian funds frozen in foreign bank accounts and renewed trade in precious metals, petrochemicals and aircraft parts will be released in exchange for the suspension of the country’s higher-grade uranium enrichment.