Rep. Royce says agreement with Iran should not allow nuclear enrichment

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said on Tuesday that an agreement with Iran should not allow the country to participate in nuclear enrichment.

Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the remarks as part of his opening statement before the committee during a hearing. The hearing included the testimony of Secretary of State John Kerry, who answered questions about the interim agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1. Royce said the key issue in the agreement centered on nuclear enrichment.

"The key issue is whether a final agreement would allow Iran to manufacture nuclear fuel," Royce said. "Unfortunately, the interim agreement reads 'yes,' it will. My concern is that we have bargained away our fundamental position, which is enshrined in six U.N. Security Council resolutions - that Iran should not be enriching and reprocessing - in exchange for a false confidence that we can effectively check Iran's misuse of these key nuclear bomb-making technologies."

Royce said Iran recently announced plans to improve its centrifuge technology and continue construction at its Arak reactor. He rhetorically asked what these plans said about Iran's nuclear intentions.

Royce said that since verification efforts are not 100 percent accurate, Iran should not be given the ability to enrich nuclear material.

"Iran is not just another country," Royce said. "It simply can't be trusted with enrichment technology, because verification efforts can never be fool proof. An agreement in which Iran purchases and returns spent nuclear fuel for energy generation is one thing, but allowing enrichment is too high risk, going beyond the lines of realistic international control."