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Congress Needs More Details On Iran Nuclear Deal, Top GOP Senator Says

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Congress Needs More Details On Iran Nuclear Deal, Top GOP Senator Says


By David Willman, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — With the details of a nuclear agreement with Iran still being debated, a prominent Senate Republican said Sunday that Congress should insist on learning more before deciding whether to support a final deal.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he will seek the panel’s vote as soon as April 14 on his proposal to prohibit President Barack Obama from suspending economic sanctions against Iran for 60 days while Congress reviews the matter.

Obama has warned Congress against doing so, suggesting that it could scuttle a deal. In exchange for Iran’s compliance with terms aimed at preventing its development of nuclear weapons, a variety of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and five other world powers would be relaxed or withdrawn.

“Many, many details are unknown at this point,” Corker said on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t know how anyone could really ascertain whether this is something good or bad yet for the American citizenry.”

Corker — who last month declined to join 47 other GOP senators in signing a public letter to Iranian leaders that warned that the enforceability of provisions agreed to by Obama might not outlast his administration — continued Sunday to stake a more centrist position.

“This is the place for sober and thoughtful people to dig in,” he said. “I want to see a negotiated agreement.”

Corker said that he had conferred three times in recent days with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear scientist who participated in the negotiations with Iran.

Moniz, appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, strongly endorsed the framework agreed to by Iran, the U.S., Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China.

He said the terms would limit Iran’s enrichment of uranium and provide international inspectors with “unprecedented access and transparency.”
“If they fail to meet any of the requirements, we are going to know,” Moniz said, adding that existing economic sanctions would be relaxed “only when they have substantially complied.”

Moniz’s enthusiasm was echoed by Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to Obama, who said on CNN’s GPS that, “on the merits, this is a very strong deal.”

Additional support for the pending deal was voiced Sunday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, who also chided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his staunch opposition.

“I think this is the best that’s going to get done,” Feinstein said on CNN’s State of the Union. “It’s a better agreement, candidly, than I thought it was ever going to be.”

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat serving on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, added, “We’re on the cusp of something that can be workable.”

Asked about Netanyahu’s opposition, which the prime minister reiterated Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Feinstein said: “This can backfire on him. And I wish that he would contain himself.”

(c)2015 Tribune Co., Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Photo: Sen. Bob Corker (Courtesy U.S. Embassy of Moldova via Flickr)



  1. Daniel Jones April 5, 2015

    Why, big shock!
    Congress can *shove off* as they are the pinnacle of the Legislature, and the Iran deal is an Executive function.
    Instead, why not leave it to the head of the Executive branch of government? You know, the President?

  2. Dominick Vila April 6, 2015

    Congress is not interested in details, what they are desperately trying to figure out is how to scuttle the agreement, to justify not ratifying it and be able to perpetuate a status quo that justifies the continuance of military and foreign aid to Israel, out of control DoD budgets, and the pursuit of geopolitical and economic goals in the Persian Gulf region. The goal of those who refuse to give peaceful coexistence a chance, without ever offering an alternative other than war, is not to ensure the P5 plus 1 agreement succeeds, but to make sure it does not materialize.

    1. CPAinNewYork April 6, 2015

      I agree with you, but what bothers me is the nagging fear that this could be analogous to England’s Munich accord with Hitler. I recognize that there are differences between the two situations, but I don’t see much difference between Hitler and the Muslims.

      Don’t get me wrong. I want “peace in our time,” but I don’t want us to get complacent.

  3. bobnstuff April 6, 2015

    Most of the Republicans in the Senate are like little kids, If it new they hate it and won’t try it even if it’s something they would like. They didn’t need to know what the agreement was about before sending a letter saying they wouldn’t support it did they? Have we elected foolish little kids to run our country?

    1. highpckts April 6, 2015


    2. latebloomingrandma April 6, 2015

      We don’t have any statesmen any more. I doubt that any of the “new” people in congress could define the term.

  4. Bren Frowick April 6, 2015

    It is somewhat gratifying to see Corker simply requesting more details before deciding, rather than automatically rejecting anything and everything Obama does, as so many of his fellows have done. Corker, after all, is one of the handful who refused to sign onto the 47traitors letter. But he is out of his depth if he is trying to pass legislation denying the authority to lift sanctions: Obama already has that power under the legislation by which the sanctions were instituted in the first place. Of course, Congress could always pass ANOTHER sanctions bill explicitly denying the President the power to manage foreign policy, as is his Constitutional prerogative, but he would them simply veto it.

    1. R Michael Maddox April 6, 2015

      Hell, half the stuff Pres. Obama has proposed were good ideas when Repubs. wanted them. But cause Pres. Obama wants it, It’s wrong. And they will SWEAR to you that they are NOT prejudice. If Pres. Obamas name is on it they will be against it. I call it IGNORANT!!

  5. jamesowens April 6, 2015

    the gop wants to reject it- they cant believe the President is doing so well despite their negative actions. they fought the health care and supporyed the rip off insurance companies –ACA is working
    they fought the peace he ended one of their wars–he brokered a peaceful treaty they promised their war machine another profitable war. thats why they hate him he keeps ending all their money making schemes.
    he fixed the wall street collapse caused by bush and now their scared he will enforce the regulations on them

  6. R Michael Maddox April 6, 2015

    Funny they want “All” the details on the Iran deal. But they refuse to get “ALL THE DETAILS” of the “TPP” which will crush jobs in America. I have a suggestion; Get All the Details on EVERYTHING that they put their approval on!! Instead of just doing what the party leaders tell them to.

  7. FT66 April 6, 2015

    Demanding more details, is demanding more negotiations. More negotiations will delay taking any action, hence giving more ample time to Iran to continue with whatever they have been doing. Where have good thinkers gone who used to be in Congress? No wonder they rushed to send a letter to Iran with 47 signatures without taking a moment to think first.

  8. highpckts April 6, 2015

    They want ALL the details so they can obstruct and deny any treaty ! Treaties don’t make them money and besides they can’t give any credit to this President. That is just too much!!


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