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Congress could thwart Iran deal

The Hill

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Obama administration appears to be on the verge of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran after three and a half decades of low-level warfare.

Now comes the hard part: convincing Congress.

Skeptical lawmakers are gearing up to thwart efforts to lift the pressure on Iran. Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) warned this week that he may introduce legislation making it harder for President Obama to loosen existing sanctions, while several others have vowed to slap on new ones…

Other experts think they may have a solution.

“In the long term, if [Obama] wants to get a deal that sticks, he’s going to need to find a way to cooperate with Congress,” said Blaise Misztal of the Iran Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The White House has asked Senate leaders to delay a vote on the bill, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has promised to take up the effort as an amendment to the pending Defense bill. Misztal’s proposal: Have the Senate pass the House sanctions now, but hold off on its implementation.

Misztal’s proposal would subject the sanctions to a trigger that would be pulled if Iran reneges on its interim commitments or fails to reach a final deal after six months or so. Congress would also pass legislation detailing what a final deal should look like.

2013-11-09 00:00:00
The Hill

KEYWORDS: BLAISE MISZTAL, BOB CORKER, IRAN, LINDSEY GRAHAM, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE