Obama Agrees To Give Congress Say On Iran Deal

A US Senate panel has unanimously approved a revised bill that would give Congress say on an emerging deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

Obama Agrees To Give Congress

Republicans and Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise on the measure that would shorten Congress’ timeframe to review and potentially undercut a deal with Tehran.

The Obama administration has been at odds with lawmakers who not only want Congress to have some authority over a final accord, but also remain sceptical that Iran will honour any agreement.

The compromise shortened from 60 to 30 days the amount of time Congress would have to conduct a review of a final deal.

During that period, President Barack Obama would be permitted to lift sanctions imposed through presidential action, but would be barred from easing sanctions levied by Congress.

The measure also requires the administration to regularly update Congress on Iran’s compliance.

The bipartisan proposal emerged on Tuesday as Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of Mr Obama’s Cabinet visited Capitol Hill for a second straight day to sell lawmakers on the pending deal.

The White House signalled on Tuesday the President would support for the revised measure. Mr Obama earlier indicated he would veto the original proposal because he feared it would scuttle the emerging deal.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the White House would withhold final judgment on the bill while it works its way through Congress.

“What we have made clear to Democrats and Republicans in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is that the President would be willing to sign the proposed compromise that is working its way through the committee,” Mr Earnest said.

Earlier this month, negotiators agreed on a framework for a deal that would provide sanctions relief to Tehran in exchange for language that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Mr Obama hailed the breakthrough as “historic”, saying the outline cuts Iran’s path to developing a nuclear weapon.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said he would “neither support nor oppose the deal”.

A 30 June deadline is in place to reach a final accord.

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