House Republicans are considering holding August hearings on the Iran nuclear agreement to amplify their opposition to the deal that Speaker John Boehner Tuesday said was "unacceptable" to most Republicans in Congress.
"It's going to hand a dangerous regime billions of dollars in sanctions relief while paving away for a nuclear Iran," Boehner told reporters after meeting with his GOP colleagues Tuesday morning.
"We're going to do everything we can to get to the details, and if in fact it's as bad a deal as I think it is at this moment, we'll do everything we can to stop it," Boehner said.
Boehner said the deal is "unacceptable" because it "abandons" the key principles the Obama administration laid out at the onset of the talks, which were that Iran does not have the right to enrich and keeping sanctions in place until Iran met "concrete, verifiable standards."
"The president has abandoned all of those goals," he said.
While Boehner did not lay out House GOP message plans for building opposition to the deal, a close ally, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told the Washington Examiner that key Republicans have volunteered to hold hearings on the Iran deal throughout the August recess with a House vote on the deal expected after Labor Day.
"I would expect pretty serious oversight hearings in July — maybe some people coming back in August ... there was some willingness amongst members if that that was necessary to be here to scrutinize the deal," Cole said. He noted that several House GOP lawmakers suggested the idea during the Tuesday morning conference meeting.
House Republicans were particularly upset over the last-minute decision to lift the conventional arms embargo against Iran over five years.
The White House said that some prohibitions on the transfer of certain arms would be lifted after five years, and after eight years Russia could transfer its ballistic missile technology to the Iranians without violating the deal.
"The president has a chance to make his case but this is a very hard sale — especially considering the last-minute additions of the lifting of the [conventional] arms embargo and the ballistic missile components is really disturbing and it suggests there were other concessions in substantive areas," Cole said. "Those were things that were not supposed to be up for discussion — it has nothing to do with the Iranian deal."
Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took immediate exception to the easing of the conventional arms embargo against Iran, and details that are emerging that Tehran will have some say over where and when inspectors are allowed to go.
"Remember there's a new component to this agreement because at the 11th hour Iran asked for the lifting of the arms embargo," Royce told reporters ahead of Tuesday morning's Foreign Affairs hearing on the deal.
Royce said Iran was responding to a request from Moscow to have the ability to transfer this inter-continental ballistic missile technology in a matter of eight years.
"It's our understanding that that is now in the agreement … so we have a real concern that now there's another issue here and that's the U.N. lifting that prohibition," he said.