(CNN) – Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday the interim deal reached between world powers and Iran this weekend to slow its nuclear program sets a bad precedent.
“We have just rewarded very bad and dangerous behavior,” the Michigan Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” blasting the agreement’s provision that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium, even though it’s to a lower level.
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In exchange, the United States agreed to slightly loosen sanctions against Iran - a move that Roger said chisels away at the United States’ leverage in the negotiations and gives Iran a “permission slip” to continue to enrich uranium.
“What have we done? We have taken away the one thing - we've given them just enough breathing room, the one thing that brought them to the table,” he said. “What is worrying about that is bipartisan opposition in Congress, very strong bipartisan opposition to the deal. Our Arab League partners don't like the deal. Israel doesn't like the deal.”
The deal says that the U.S. will provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanction relief - just a drop in the bucket compared to the roughly $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings that are inaccessible to Iran because of sanctions, the White House says.
Rogers pointed to Iran’s role in terrorist activities in recent years, saying Tehran hasn’t signaled that it has abandoned those practices.
“We may have just encouraged more violence in the future than we have stopped. That's why I hope we reconsider where we're at,” he added.
Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged Sunday in a round of interviews that the new agreement doesn’t dismantle Iran’s nuclear program – but he said that’s the next step in the talks.
"While we go through these next six months, we will be negotiating the dismantling," he said on ABC. "But you can't always start where you want to wind up."
"You cannot sit there and pretend that you're just going to get the thing you want, while they (Iran) continue to move towards the program that they've been chasing," he said.
On “State of the Union,” Kerry said the world, including Israel, will be safer over the next six months than if the agreement had not been reached.
“We believe very strongly that because the Iranian nuclear program is actually set backwards and is actually locked into place in critical places, that that is better for Israel than if you were just continuing to go down the road and they rush towards a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Rogers’ counterpart on the other side of Capitol Hill, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, supported the agreement Sunday.
“By any standard, this agreement is a giant step forward and should not be undermined by additional sanctions at this time,” she said in a statement.
- CNN’s Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
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