WASHINGTON, D.C. — After 20 months of talks, leaders of the U.S. and five other nations announced an agreement Tuesday with Iran that’s designed to rein in that country’s nuclear program. Congress will have 60 days to review and debate the tentative agreement.
Admitting there was no “perfect deal,” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was, at least initially, generally supportive of the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
With it, Iran will not be fully shutting down its atomic program.
Additionally, the deal clears the way for the eventual lifting of the embargo on Iran’s imports and exports of conventional arms and missiles, a sticking point up until late in negotiations.
“We don’t trust them and they don’t trust us,” Manchin said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline, ” noting since previous nuclear talks broke down and were abandoned in 2003, Iran has made dramatic additions to its nuclear program.
“I would be in support of this agreement if it allows up to reboot and retrigger the sanctions if and, people would say it’s only a matter of time, when they violate the conditions of this agreement,” he said.
Early on, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) admitted she was skeptical, but she was also not ruling out later supporting the proposal once she fully reviews the agreement.
“Yes, I could hear things in the details that could make me say, ‘This is a good deal. It’s the best deal we can get and it’s important that we have a deal,'” she said, but she’s not there yet.
“The people that are cheering it, Assad and Putin, that doesn’t give me a whole lot of comfort here.” She said a bad deal is “worse than no deal at all.”
For 2nd District Congressman Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), the deal was not enough.
“I’m very concerned,” Mooney said. “The word ‘curb,’ ‘curb’ their nuclear capabilities, curb is not stopping. Curb is slowing down or having less of it, but curb does not stop it. We do not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Period.”
Both Capito and Mooney were also guests on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Speaking from the White House early Tuesday morning, President Barack Obama said the deal was built on verification, not trust.
“Today, after two years of negotiation, the United States together with the international community has achieved something that decades of animosity has not — a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the President said.