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Beltway Confidential

Chuck Schumer 'disappointed' in Iran nuclear deal

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Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is "disappointed" with the nuclear deal with Iran reached Saturday.

Schumer, in a written statement, said the deal would not pare back Iran's nuclear program, but would reduce U.S. sanctions against the regime.

“I am disappointed by the terms of the agreement between Iran and P5+1 nations [the U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France and Germany] because it does not seem proportional,” Schumer said.

The deal, which both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have called the “next step” in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, would involve daily inspections of nuclear sites and the destruction of some enriched uranium in exchange for a suspension of some sanctions and an unfreezing of assets.

Schumer joined other critics, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who say the sanctions do not remove the threat of Iran's nuclear program, but simply freeze it.

“Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions,” Schumer said. “This disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December.”

He said it will not give Iran incentive to end its nuclear program.

“It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table, and any reduction relieves the psychological pressure of future sanctions and gives them hope that they will be able to gain nuclear weapon capability while further sanctions are reduced,” Schumer said. “A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability.”

Given Iran’s past dismissal of U.S. threats and its continued nuclear expansion despite sanctions, it’s doubtful that making things easier would remove the threat posed by the regime in Tehran.

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