Congress: Any Nuke Deal Goes Through Us

Too many 'gray areas' to let accord go through without full congressional review
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2015 10:13 AM CDT
In this March 26, 2015, file photo, House Speaker John Boehner calls on a reporter during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – A blueprint outlining the path toward a final deal between Western countries and Iran on its nuclear program was drafted yesterday, and Politico notes "there was much for Obama officials" and their partner countries to "be happy about," such as more centrifuge disassembling than previously anticipated. But there are still tenuous points that need to be fleshed out and an American public that needs convincing, and a congressional committee intends to create a bipartisan bill on April 14 that would demand congressional review of any deal, the New York Times notes. An aide for Speaker John Boehner tells ABC News that "a wait-and-see until June 30" (the deadline for a full agreement) approach isn't in the cards, while Sen. Bob Corker tells the Times "we want the right to go through the details of the deal and to decide whether we believe congressionally mandated sanctions should be alleviated."

Keeping the agreement's framework shaky is the lack of detailed schedules and logistics on certain key points, including nuclear R&D and a uranium-reduction program, Politico notes. The bill would insist on a full review of all agreement text, ban the removal of sanctions for 60 days after a final deal is reached, and mandate that the president check up on Iran's compliance every 90 days, the Times notes. But while lawmakers on both sides are touting compromise, there are still the hardballers. "I plan … to stop this deal from going forward," Sen. Tom Cotton, author of the recent open letter to Iran, tells ABC. Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff says, "The last thing we want is for the international community to think that we came this close to a negotiated end to Iran's nuclear program and the United States Congress got in the way." (Read more Iran nuclear weapons program stories.)

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