US Congress Not Authorized to Reject Deal

US Congress Not Authorized to Reject DealUS Congress Not Authorized to Reject Deal

A former US ambassador to the European Union says President Barack Obama will not need to seek congressional approval to lift some sanctions on Iran.   

In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, James F. Dobbins said, “In spite of Republicans’ control of the US Senate and House of Representatives, Obama is authorized to lift parts of sanctions imposed on Iran without any need for the Congress’s permission, and any acceptance or rejection of the nuclear agreement is beyond the authority of Congress.”

Dobbins said with Republicans’ victory in the midterm elections, undoubtedly more clashes are expected between the president and Congress, but in case of reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, Obama does not necessarily need congressional approval.

Congress essentially has no direct influence in the US foreign policy and the ultimate decision maker is the US president and the administration, he said, adding, “So any attempt by Congress to hinder a nuclear agreement is out of question.”

The veteran US diplomat said, “A significant point is that the countries which follow the US sanctions strategy against Iran will naturally abide by Obama’s decision, and the Congress’s stance (in this regard) is of no significance to them.”

“Meanwhile, Republicans are likely to maintain their differences on issues such as the campaign against the Islamic State militants and Iran’s nuclear dossier,” he noted.

Dobbins added, “The US president has the authority to cancel some of the sanctions imposed against Iran, but to lift some sanctions he needs the final approval of Congress.”

  Chance Should Be Seized

Former US senator Bennett Johnston also said on Saturday Iran and the United States should not miss the chance of reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal by the November 24 deadline.

Speaking to IRNA in New York, he said some Republicans are trying to exert pressure on Obama in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and said, “Tehran and Washington should not miss the chance of reaching a comprehensive deal.”   

Johnston expressed optimism about the process of nuclear negotiations and stressed that all parties, the US and Iranian representatives in particular, should not allow the talks be lengthened too much.

Iran and the P5+1 will start a new round of talks on a final deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program in Muscat, Oman on Tuesday.