Congress must review any nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers may reach with Iran, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey said Sunday he has “real concerns” over the talks and that he wouldn’t support any deal that leaves Iran a “threshold nuclear” state.
Talks between Iran, which holds the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, and world powers continued for a fifth day Sunday in Lausanne, Switzerland. Iran’s insistence on an immediate lifting of United Nations sanctions is a main obstacle to securing a framework agreement on its disputed nuclear program by March 31, five European and U.S. diplomats said.
The Western powers negotiating with Iran have proposed lifting UN sanctions in four to six years, according to the officials who asked not to be identified, in line with diplomatic rules. A failure of the talks would raise the prospect that President Barack Obama or a successor would use force to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker has said the panel will consider legislation on April 14 that he is co- sponsoring with Menendez that would allow Congress to review and approve a final agreement.
“This bill is a good bill and I’d hoped the administration would have supported it,” Menendez said Sunday at a synagogue in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. “We are going to have to see what the agreement is and what are the mechanisms for inspections.”
The decision to delay a committee vote until after the March 31 deadline for the framework of an agreement may win additional Democratic support for the measure.
The White House has said President Barack Obama would veto the proposed bill which would require the administration to wait 60 days before suspending any sanctions against Iran.
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