REPUBLICANS UNEASY OVER IRAN NUKE DEAL, LAWMAKERS DEMAND SAY ON ANY FINAL AGREEMENT

Fox News on April 3, 2015, reported that the highly touted “framework” for an Iranian nuclear deal, following days of intense negotiations, is being met with mixed reviews on Capitol Hill — as Republicans voice skepticism and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reprise demands that Congress have a say. Excerpts below:

…Boehner, within hours of the announcement, warned that the “parameters” represented an “alarming departure” from initial U.S. goals.

In a statement, Boehner said his “immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief,” referring to a provision calling for U.S. and E.U. sanctions relief once inspectors verify Iran’s progress toward the nuclear-related steps of the deal.

“Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted,” Boehner said.

..

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it is important to see the specific details of Thursday’s announcement and said America should remain “clear-eyed” regarding Iran.

“If a final agreement is reached, the American people, through their elected representatives, must have the opportunity to weigh in to ensure the deal truly can eliminate the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and hold the regime accountable,” he said in a written statement.

Corker and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., sponsored the bill allowing congressional review. A 60-vote threshold would be required before lawmakers could take action. Corker said his committee would take up that legislation on April 14, and said he’s “confident of a strong vote.”

Menendez, a Democrat who has publicly criticized the Obama administration’s handling of Iran, suggested the White House take its time before agreeing to anything. With the preliminary agreement announced, negotiators will now try to hammer out a final, comprehensive deal by a June 30 deadline.

“If diplomats can negotiate for two-years on this issue, then certainly Congress is entitled to a review period of an agreement that will fundamentally alter our relationship with Iran and the sanctions imposed by Congress,” Menendez said in a written statement. “The best outcome remains a good deal that ends Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program. That requires a strong, united, and bipartisan approach from the administration and Congress.”

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