The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday announced a bipartisan agreement allowing Congress to review any nuclear agreement with Iran, rejecting pleas from the White House that congressional action could derail ongoing international negotiations.
Under the compromise Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress would have 30 days to review the nuclear deal, and President Barack Obama would have 12 days to sign off — or more likely veto the proposal — with Congress granted an additional 10 days to consider an override vote. The measure would also require the administration offer regular reports on Iran’s support of terrorist groups and other activities.
“This puts in place a process — the administration is still fully free to go ahead and complete its negotiations — but as it relates to the sanctions, that again Congress put in place, it has to lay before us; we have the ability to look at every detail,” Corker told Bloomberg TV. “Those congressional sanctions cannot be waived until Congress completes its work.” (Credit: AP).
However, despite bipartisan support for the agreement, the White House has repeatedly promised to veto any attempt to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, arguing that it could undermine a still-unfinished agreement announced by the U.S., Iran and other world powers in early April.
“The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: If this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it,” Obama said in January. “For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed.” (Credit: AP).
Under the current Iran deal framework, the country would reduce the number of centrifuges in operation by at least two-thirds and convert the centrifuges at its Fordow facility to research and other applications, according to the White House.
In exchange, the European Union would lift its nuclear-related sanctions in a phase-out period, with the framework of the separate U.S. sanctions remaining in place for a possible snapback, according to the statement.
In order to ensure Iran’s compliance with the deal, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will have access to Iranian nuclear facilities, its supply chain and mining facilities. The deal faces a June 30 deadline.