This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Congressional Republicans responded with frustration and skepticism to a newly announced accord with Iran meant to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of financial sanctions.
But it will be difficult for them to derail the deal announced by the United States and a team of international partners early Tuesday.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, believes it is worth a try.
"My initial read is we are giving Iran everything it wanted. They get time and money to develop a bomb and that is totally unacceptable," he said Tuesday morning. "The president has more than a sales job ahead of him."
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, a member of the Intelligence Committee, said: "It just makes me mad. I'm so angry this morning that the president would put us in this situation."
Congress is expected to vote on the deal some time in September, but simply voting it down won't stop anything. That's because President Barack Obama has already promised to use his veto authority.
To kill this deal, Republicans would need the help of congressional Democrats to override the president.
Stewart isn't sure if that will happen. It depends on how Democrats respond to the details of the agreement, which will be shared in secret.
What is known is that the accord requires Iran to ship 98 percent of its weapons-grade uranium out of the country, most likely to Russia, and stop producing more for at least 10 years. It allows international inspectors access to uranium mines, centrifuges and labs.
In exchange, the international community will ease sanctions on Iran.
"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off. And the inspections and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place," Obama said in a speech delivered at the White House. "we put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic resolution, and that is what we have done."
He equated the deal to the arms-control agreements the United States struck with the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War.
Stewart, Chaffetz and many Republicans worry that Iran will easily maneuver around inspections, at the same time benefiting from a removal of tough economic sanctions that have caused widespread inflation throughout this Middle Eastern power.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said that he's "concerned that in the administration's desperation to reach an agreement, compromises were made on important standards such as inspections and verification procedures, and that the immediate sanctions relief provided by this deal will only increase Iran's ability to finance its terrorist proxies to destabilize the Middle East and threaten the United States."
Sen. Orrin Hatch said: "Any deal that removes sanctions without robust means of ensuring the regime's disarmament and compliance with its international obligations is worse than no deal at all."
Reps. Rob Bishop and Mia Love, both R-Utah, also oppose the deal.
Stewart warns that the deal could "endanger American security," if the Gulf states, namely Saudi Arabia, feel they have to defend themselves from an emboldened Iran.
Saudi Arabia and Israel are among the international critics of the negotiations and compromise.