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Utah's members of Congress responded with skepticism to the announcement that the United States and a group of foreign powers have struck a deal with Iran to block its development of a nuclear bomb in exchange for easing economic sanctions.
"I'm not ready to break out the party hats yet," said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Stewart, like many Republicans, argues the Iranians have not proven they are trustworthy negotiating partners. He wants to see an agreement that allows for inspections at a moment's notice, requires Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and ensures that its enriched uranium is shipped to Russia. Those kinds of details are expected to be fleshed out by June.
In announcing an agreement Thursday, President Barack Obama said: "I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies and our world safer."
The framework, 18 months in the making, allows Iran to continue using its nuclear facilities, so long as the country doesn't produce weapons-grade uranium.
"I'm really worried about it," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. "The president has gone way out there to suggest that this would prohibit Iran from ever getting a nuclear bomb. But I see it differently. I don't trust the Iranians."
Stewart and Chaffetz are among many in Congress who want to have final say on any deal. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is running legislation that would require congressional approval.
Obama warned congressional Republicans not to scuttle this compromise.
"If Congress kills this deal not based on expert analysis, and without offering any reasonable alternatives then it's the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy," he said.
This is not a compromise between Iran and the United States alone. Diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are also taking part. Israel is not part of the negotiations and its leaders, particularly newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been sharply critical of the deal, saying it would put Israel's very existence at risk.
For the Republican majority in Congress, this has become a debate over whether Obama is being tough enough on Iran, which the United States still lists as a state sponsor of terrorism.
"A lot of people are very concerned that the president doesn't know how to drive a really hard agreement and that's a matter of great concern to me too," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during an appearance on KVNU radio in northern Utah. "[Administration officials] want an agreement more than they want to be absolutely right about it. I think President Obama failed to realize that Iran poses a really serious threat to the West and our response to that threat has to be equally serious."