Iran nuke accord: US got a raw deal, say most lawmakers

Iran nuke accord: US got a raw deal, say most lawmakers
US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva

THE landmark nuclear accord between Iran and six global powers signed over the weekend is drawing fire from all sides in the US capital, with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers decrying the pact as a bad deal for the country.

On a day when President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sought to shore up support for the deal at home and overseas, criticisms were lodged at a steady clip.

Some criticised the temporary deal for not going far enough to curb Iran's nuclear abilities while others said the agreement made the United States appear weak.

And there were those who went so far as to suggest the deal was a diversionary tactic by the administration to draw attention away from the botched roll-out of the new health-care legislation.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the scenes of cheering in Iran were a clear sign that the Americans had been shortchanged.

"If you see the reaction in Iran right now, they're spiking the football in the end zone saying, 'Look, we've consolidated our gains. We've relieved sanctions. We're going to have the right to enrich (uranium)'," he told Fox News on Sunday.

Democrats were no less critical. New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat with a large Jewish constituency, released a statement on Sunday saying the US$7 billion (S$8.7 billion) in sanctions relief for Iran was not in line with the concessions it made.

"A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability," he said.

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