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Welch Encouraged By Iran Nuclear Deal

Vahid Salemi
Iranians celebrate on a street in northern Tehran Thursday after Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rep. Peter Welch says the agreement is a good start.

Congressman Peter Welch says he's encouraged by a tentative agreement concerning the future of Iran's nuclear program.

Under the agreement reached between the United States and several other world powers, Iran would accept restrictions on its nuclear program for a decade, and in return, international sanctions would be gradually lifted.

Many of the key details are expected to be negotiated in the next two months. Welch says the agreement is a good start.

"There's consensus that we have to have a non-nuclear Iran,” Welch says. “This agreement – let's try to see if it can work." 

Welch says the key to the agreement is ongoing inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency of all Iranian nuclear facilities for the next 10 years.

"If there's any violation, we can re-implement sanctions immediately,” Welch says. “And … we always retain all of our options, and that includes a military option.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposes the agreement because he argues it will allow Iran to develop a nuclear bomb. Welch wants to know what the Israeli options are.

"If the prime minister has, as he does, legitimate and significant concerns about the protection of Israel, something that we share, he really does have to come forward with what's Plan B. And that's what I haven't heard from the prime minister,” Welch says.

Welch says Congress has a role to play in reviewing the agreement, but he says the proposal is not a treaty that is subject to the approval of Congress.