Congress Should Freeze its Iran Penalties: White House

Congress Should Freeze its Iran Penalties: White House
Thu Mar 19, 2015 22:58:00

Obama administration officials told a House committee on Thursday that if a nuclear deal is struck with Iran, lawmakers should leave congressionally imposed sanctions in place for years.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said that sounded like part of a White House strategy to keep Congress out of the process for years. Lawmakers wary of Iran are pushing to weigh in on any prospective deal and impose new penalties on Tehran.

The administration argues that congressional action now would scuttle delicate international negotiations underway in Switzerland to reach an agreement that would prevent Iran from being able to “develop nuclear weapons”, AP reports.

The White House said on Thursday that there is no draft document of a nuclear agreement with Iran being circulated.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said reports on the details of such a document are not accurate.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart on Thursday hailed "progress" in nuclear talks but Washington denied a draft deal was already being circulated.

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