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Michigan's congressional delegation split on nuclear deal with Iran


Michigan’s congressional delegation is divided along partisan lines onthe new Iranian nuclear deal.

President Barack Obama says every path to a nuclear weapon will be cut off for Iran under a historic agreement announced in Vienna.

Obama spoke from the White House this morning after the deal was announced.

The President addressed skeptics of the agreement saying, "This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification." He says the nuclear agreement with Iran ensures that Iran "will not develop a nuclear weapon." He says Iran's compliance will be verified by inspections.

Congress has 60 days to review the agreement. Obama says he will veto any bill to reject the agreement. 

Generally, Michigan’s Republican members of Congress don’t like the deal.

“As the lead sponsor of international terrorism, I have little confidence that Iran, a country that proudly celebrates, ‘death to America, death to Israel,’ will honestly adhere to an international agreement that restricts its nuclear capabilities,” says Rep. Candice Miller (MI-10).

Rep. Miller’s comments are mirrored by 7th district congressman Tim Walberg.

“We all want peace in the Middle East,” says Rep. Walberg, “but rewarding Iran with billions in sanctions relief without abandoning its nuclear ambitions will not achieve that goal. No amount of spin can gloss over the Obama administration’s major concessions (to Iran).”

The deal does get some support in Michigan’s delegation.

Rep. John Conyers calls the deal “one of the great international agreements of our time.”

“Concluding an agreement will not only promote long-term security in the Middle East,” says Conyers (MI-13), "but also remove the short-term specter of a destructive military confrontation.”

Other Michigan Democrats are more cautious.

12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says she needs to study the agreement.

“This will probably be one of the most important votes of my career and one I do not take lightly,” says Rep. Dingell, “I look forward to the briefings and information that will be provided.”

5th District Congressman Dan Kildee is also withholding judgment on the deal.

“The goal of negotiations between world powers and Iran has always been to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” says Rep. Kildee. “I am encouraged about today’s development and will examine this nuclear agreement with Iran closely, ultimately judging the agreement on if it makes the world a safer place.”

Kildee also notes that Iran continues to hold several American citizens in its prisons.   He says the Iranian government should release those Americans to demonstrate its desire to rejoin the global community.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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