Under the Dome

Holding skeptical of Iran nuclear agreement

U.S. Rep. George Holding, a Republican from Raleigh, issued a statement Monday saying he’s skeptical of the Iran nuclear agreement reached in Geneva on Sunday. Holding is a member of the Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The six-month deal requires Iran to impose curbs on its nuclear activities in return for limited relief from economic sanctions. The accord allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium at low levels, enough for energy production but not for bomb-making.

“The agreement – which has repeatedly been praised by the Obama administration – allows Iran to continue enriching uranium while accessing billions of previously sanctioned dollars for the next six months. Nothing in this agreement changes the simple fact we can’t trust the regime in Tehran,” Holding said in a statement on Monday.

“In the past, Iran has already used every negotiating tactic in the book to move their nuclear program forward. Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. We should not relax a single sanction until international inspectors have verified Iran’s nuclear program has been entirely dismantled and they are adhering to all UN Security Council resolutions.”

The White House said over the weekend it doesn’t need agreement from Congress to go ahead with the deal. Even so, President Barack Obama called some members of Congress over the weekend to seek their support and to try to ward off any calls for increased sanctions right now.

The White House didn’t identify those whom Obama called. Holding spokeswoman Lindsay Hamilton said Holding wasn’t one of them.