Late Saturday night, after news broke that Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China had reached an agreement in Geneva with Iran to halt its development of nuclear weapons, President Obama appeared in the White House State Dining Room to describe some of the details:
While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.
As soon as the news broke, and without bothering to wait for the details, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted:
Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care
Cornyn thus echoed what others were tweeting sarcastically in anticipation of reflexive GOP denunciations of the diplomatic breakthrough. One wag tweeted:
Someone get the details of the deal out quickly so the people who hate it already can find out why
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Closet) quickly offered his usual overcompensating saber-rattling that bars any thought of preventing war:
Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven't gained anything. #IranNukes