Even Some Democrats Skeptical of Iran Deal
November 24, 2013 - 8:53 am
For what some Obama worshipers in the press are calling an “historic” agreement,” members of Congress appear to be mostly unimpressed — even Democrats.
The #2 Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, called the agreement a “marginal improvement” and told Face the Nation that “we don’t trust Iran.”
The ranking Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, said, “I don’t think you make them bargain in good faith by going squishy.” Like many Republicans, Engel was disappointed that the deal didn’t call for Iran to suspend its enrichment program.
Republicans appeared far more skeptical.
“Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care,” the Senate Minority Whip tweeted shortly after the deal was announced.
The #3 Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, nixed that suggestion:
“I would never judge upon that when we’re dealing with international,” McCarthy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“I know they need some type of other news, but that would be the biggest mistake any administration could do.”
The California Republican also endorsed the plan, now laid out by both Democrats and Republicans, to continue with congressional sanctions legislation but to delay its implementation for at least six months.
And McCarthy cautioned Obama “from overselling this deal,” noting Israel’s concerns and that the deal stops short of fully stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“We should not take this lightly,” McCarthy said. “We have to have a full dismantling if we want the world to be safer.”
Some Republicans weren’t very charitable at all:
Iranian negotiators could view the fresh nuclear deal as a chance to gain an edge over an Obama administration lacking “intestinal fortitude,” according to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Corker said that Iran views the president’s team as “weak,” and could use the new deal on its nuclear development to win relief from economic sanctions without any major changes to their nuclear program.
“If you see the reaction in Iran right now, they’re spiking the football in the end zone,” said Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who also sits on that panel, also emphasized the need to closely watch Iran to make sure they follow through on their end of the deal, but praised the administration’s diplomatic efforts.
“The bottom line is that we have to work with the international community,” he said. “Are we concerned that Iran will try to circumvent this agreement? You bet we’re concerned about that.”