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After reviewing details, Gus Bilirakis says he opposes Iran nuclear deal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Just two days after President Barack Obama announced support for a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis from North Pinellas County is voicing his concerns against it.

“After reading the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement is not in the best interest of our country and is a gross reversal of a quarter century of nonproliferation policy regarding Iran,” Bilirakis wrote in a statement. “I will vote against the agreement, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”

The deal requires Iran to grossly reduce the number of its centrifuges creating enriched uranium and reduce the amount of uranium stored in the country.

The deal reached on Tuesday between six countries, including the U.S. and Iran, has been heralded by the Obama administration as a political triumph years in the making.

However, many conservatives in Congress aren’t happy with the deal.

“I remain skeptical and concerned about the inspections and verifications mechanism, sanctions relief timetable and requirements, and the lifting of the arms embargo – all of which threaten our national security interests at home and abroad,” Bilirakis said. “This agreement assumes trust in a regime that has continually hid parts of its nuclear program, is the largest economic state sponsor of terrorism, commits numerous human rights violations against their own citizens, and continues to detain four American citizens.”

In addition to provisions set to ensure Iran does not have access to nuclear weapons, the country also stands to gain a lot. That includes lifting many of the U.S., EU and UN sanctions currently imposed on Iran and as much as $150 billion in assets unfrozen for the country.

“This is a bad deal, and when the stakes are this high, I do not believe we can settle for a bad deal. That is why today I cosponsored a resolution expressing my strong disapproval of the Iran deal.”

Congress is now set to debate the deal, but Obama has promised to veto any attempt to undermine the deal.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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