U.S. Capitol building (Photo: Architect of the Capitol)

U.S. Capitol building (Photo: Architect of the Capitol)

The announcement Tuesday from President Barack Obama that Iran will limit its nuclear activities, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions, drew strong condemnations from Republican members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) criticized the plan as a “terrible deal,” which he argued would do little to delay Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Ryan warned that “Lifting the sanctions prematurely on Iran is a mistake, allowing the ban related to ballistic missiles to lapse is foolish, and trusting a violent Iranian regime that has been nothing but hostile to America is an error we cannot afford to make. In short, the deal between the Administration and Iran will make America and our allies less secure, and Congress should reject it.”

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) argued that “the economic sanctions that we and other nations had in place against Iran were working. They brought a nation where “Death to America” is still a common refrain to our negotiating table, and forced them to have an internal debate on which they wanted more-economic viability or nuclear weapons. I’m concerned that the proposed deal would give them both.”

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothmann said “It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that the Obama Administration signed a bad deal with Iran given President Obama’s ignorance when it comes to foreign policy. Today, his administration has paved the way for Iran to build a nuclear weapon, while leaving the United States and the international community very few options to prevent a nuclear Iran in the future.”

Democrats took a more cautious approach.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) urged a full review of the plan, noting that “Iran’s history of cheating on agreements has fostered an environment of distrust, which makes it necessary for Members of Congress to study the agreement to ensure Iran is held to high verification standards and inspectors have adequate access to all sites. It is easier to deal with an Iran without a nuclear weapon than trying to work backwards once Iran has manufactured a weapon. In the coming months I look forward to carefully evaluating the agreement and attending classified briefings to guarantee the security and safety of our allies in the region.”

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) noted she was proud of the work America had done in working toward an agreement with Iran, and said she would “take the time to carefully review this diplomatic agreement and make a judgement on it based on whether it is built on verification, achieves the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and serves America’s national security interests.”

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