- The Washington Times - Friday, April 1, 2016

President Obama pronounced the Iranian nuclear deal a “success” Friday as he met with leaders of the world’s major nuclear powers in Washington, amid bipartisan concern in Congress that the administration will allow Tehran to use the dollar in business transactions.

“This deal has achieved a substantial success, and focused on the dangers of nuclear proliferation in an effective way,” Mr. Obama said. “This is a success of diplomacy that hopefully we’ll be able to copy in the future.”

Critics of the agreement, including Republican lawmakers, presidential candidates and the government of Israel, say the pact allows Iran too much wiggle room to continue work on nuclear weapons undetected by international inspectors.

And some lawmakers are reacting with alarm to reports that, as the deal is being implemented, the administration will allow Tehran to use the dollar to conduct business. The administration previously said it would not allow such a move.

Republicans say the U.S. should not further reward Iran, in light of its recent ballistic missile tests.



“As Iran continues to undermine the spirit of its nuclear agreement with illicit ballistic missile tests, the Obama administration is going out of its way to help Tehran reopen for business,” said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican. “The president should abandon this idea.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, also expressed opposition.

“I want to make clear my concerns that the administration had indicated that there would be no further concessions beyond those specifically negotiated and briefed to Congress,” Mr. Hoyer said in a statement. “I do not support granting Iran any new relief without a corresponding concession. We lose leverage otherwise, and Iran receives something for free.”

Mr. Hoyer said the international community could consider Iran’s further reintegration into the global economy “only when Iranian banks fully absolve themselves of involvement in terror financing and missile procurement, when Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ceases its saber-rattling against America’s allies, and Iran’s leadership ends its despicable threats against Israel and the Jewish people.”

“Until such a time, I think we ought to go no further than fulfilling only our obligations as laid out in the [nuclear agreement], and I look forward to being briefed on what the administration has planned,” he said.

U.S. officials said the Treasury Department is considering the matter, and that any changes would not give Iran substantial access to the U.S. financial system.

At the start of the second day of the bi-annual Nuclear Security Summit, Mr. Obama said the Iran nuclear deal is achieving its intended results of preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has dismantled two-thirds of its installed centrifuges,” the president said. “Iran has shipped 98 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile out of Iran. Iran has removed the Arak reactor core and filled it with concrete. If Iran were to cheat, the breakout time to build a nuclear weapon has gone from two to three months to about a year.”

The agreement is lifting economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for those limits on its nuclear program, and international inspections of its facilities.

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