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Obama to Veto Legislation on Iran
National

Obama to Veto Legislation on Iran

The White House said President Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the United States and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear program.

"The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran.  If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it," Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council, said on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The United States and five other major powers are seeking to negotiate an agreement with Iran to place temporary constraints on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would require Obama to submit to Congress the text of any agreement within five days of concluding a final deal with Iran. The bill would also prohibit Obama from suspending or waiving sanctions on Iran passed by Congress for 60 days after a deal.

Meehan said United States "should give our negotiators the best chance of success, rather than complicating their efforts."

Negotiations between the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran have reached a crucial stage, with a basic framework agreement due by the end of March.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, one of the bipartisan group of sponsors of the bill, said it was "disappointing that the president feels he is the only one who speaks for the citizens of our country."

Commenting on the bill in an interview with ICANA on Saturday, Lawmaker Behrouz Nemati said disputes between political groups in the United States do not affect the Islamic Republic's policy on the nuclear talks with the major powers.

"Regardless of political rows in the United States, the Majlis is sensitive to the process and fate of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), and it will not be the case that we give in to demands by the Americans and Congress because Tehran does not involve itself in internal political conflicts in the United States," he said.
   
Corker had earlier said, "It is important that we preserve the integrity of the congressional sanctions."

He also said the bill creates a "responsible review process that will allow Congress the opportunity to approve or disapprove the agreement before the administration could attempt to remove these sanctions."

The US foreign relations panel passed a new sanctions bill on Iran last month. But lawmakers are giving the talks between Iran and the six major countries until a March 24 deadline before that bill would move to the Senate floor.

 

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