Secretary of State John Kerry is taking a few heat for the nuclear deal he made with Iran.
Republicans were unpersuaded – and said so – at an occasionally contentious Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that marked the opening of a new phase in the administration’s drive to prevent Congress from undermining the accord.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
Conservatives in Iran as well as in America have also condemned the deal.
Asked if he pressed the Iranians to stop calling for the destruction of Israel, Kerry said he did. This Iran deal which accelerates Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons and foment extremism and terrorism is a threat to world citizens who long for freedom and safety.
Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who prides himself on being an honest broker, didn’t hide his disdain for the deal, telling Kerry that “Not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe you’ve been fleeced”.
The IAEA’s judgement will be crucial for determining Iran’s full compliance, especially regarding past work on weaponization of a nuclear device, but Secretary Moniz confessed the administration did not even have access to the IAEA’s understanding with Iran, said officials.
On TODAY, Kerry also defended a central provision in the deal that gives Iran 24 days to resolve disputes before inspectors can access suspicious sites.
I’ve found certain undesirable aspects to this agreement: Embargos of five and eight years have been placed on Iran’s weapons and ballistic missile activity, which can be reduced if they prove compliant.
The landmark agreement brokered on 14 July, and approved by the UN’s Security Council on Monday, was widely hailed as a success for President Barack Obama and Mr Rouhani.
“The choice we face is between an agreement that will ensure Iran’s nuclear programme is limited, rigorously scrutinised, and wholly peaceful”.
“These two secret side deals go to the heart of a verification and the president has told us over and over again, this isn’t about trust, this is about verification”.
The State Department called to request the meeting as the Obama administration works to secure enough support in Congress to fend off a motion of disapproval and prepares for a possible override of a promised presidential veto.
Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the committee, said he has not yet decided how he would vote but that he felt that “our negotiators got an terrible lot”.