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Rep. Ed Royce: Kerry's Actions In Iran Deal 'Almost Malfeasance'

Rep. Ed Royce: Kerry's Actions In Iran Deal 'Almost Malfeasance'
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 01 August 2015 07:20 PM

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce Saturday accused Secretary of State John Kerry of "almost malfeasance" in allowing Iran to negotiate verification side deals with international inspectors instead of making them a part of the main agreement.

"Doesn't it look to you like he couldn't get an agreement with the Iranians that would allow the real verification that we want and get those answers answered?" the California Republican asked Uma Pemmaraju on Fox News. "Instead, he left it up for the Iranians and the IAEA to separately negotiate this, apparently in a way in which we in Congress haven't seen a copy of."

The International Atomic Energy Agency is responsible for implementing the nuclear deal with Tehran. The agency has reached two side agreements with Tehran that have come under fire from Congress.

"This strikes me as almost malfeasance," Royce said, "if you also add that in the eleventh hour of these negotiations, they almost negotiated away our ability to keep the arms embargo on the intercontinental ballistic missile system that Iran wants to develop."

Congress is in its 60-day review of the Iran deal, which would curb its nuclear arsenal in exchange for billions of dollars held up over the years through crippling economic sanctions.

Kerry came under bitter attack by Senate and House committee members before legislators adjourned this week for their August recess. The secretary argued that no nuclear deal meant war with Tehran.

Congress is expected to resume after Labor Day.

"If this agreement goes through, Iran gets a cash bonanza, a boost to its international standing, and a lighted path toward nuclear weapons," Royce said at the outset of his committee's hearing on Tuesday. "With sweeping sanctions relief, we have lessened our ability to challenge Iran’s conduct across the board."

He underscored the point on Saturday to Fox, slamming Kerry for how he had negotiated the accord.

"I cannot believe how many cards we had in this game that he's thrown away, including the tough negotiating position that the United States had going into the agreement," Royce said. "We had the capacity of putting additional sanctions on Iran, which we had passed through the House, 400-20, that Secretary of State Kerry insisted not go into effect."

He noted that former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada blocked similar sanctions in the Senate.

Royce said that Kerry "argued with me on that issue, that we had already frankly been threatening with [Ayatollah Khamenei], and he wanted to extend an olive branch.

"What has that olive branch gotten us, except into a situation now where we've got less and less leverage — and he's going to the United Nations to lift the sanctions before Congress votes on this?" Royce added. "I think we get a pretty good idea just how badly he's negotiated this."

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce Saturday accused Secretary of State John Kerry of almost malfeasance in allowing Iran to negotiate verification side deals with international inspectors instead of making them a part of the main agreement. Doesn't it look...
royce, kerry, iran, nuclear, deal
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2015-20-01
Saturday, 01 August 2015 07:20 PM
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