John McCain: ‘Delusional and Dangerous’ Iran Nuclear Deal Built on ‘Hope’

John McCain
John McCain / AP

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R.) slammed the nuclear agreement reached by Iran and world powers Tuesday, labeling it a "bad deal" that is "built far too much on hope."

McCain, who chairs the Senate Committee on Armed Services, criticized the Obama administration for making too many concessions to Iran in the deal. The move, he said, will strengthen Iran’s ability acquire weapons and allow the country to retain "an industrial scale nuclear program."

"It is built far too much on hope—on the belief that somehow the Iranian government will fundamentally change in the next several years, such that it can be trusted with a growing arsenal, a huge influx of cash, and the infrastructure of a nuclear program," McCain said in the statement.

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"This is delusional and dangerous," the Republican lawmaker continued, "especially as we see Iran on the offensive in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and elsewhere in the region. Instead, I fear this agreement could undermine the very goals we have maintained for 35 years—weakening the Islamic Republic, constraining its threatening influence, strengthening Israel and our Arab partners, lessening regional tensions, and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."

Negotiated in Vienna, the agreement would lift international sanctions on Iran while allowing the country to press on with crucial elements of its nuclear work, research, and development.

Though Congress has the authority to review the deal, President Obama in a statement from the White House Tuesday morning championed the agreement as an accomplishment and insisted he would veto any effort by Congress to reject it.