July 05, 2015

Corker Urges Administration to Take Time, Not Rush into Bad Deal with Iran

Senator Says Administration Appears to Be Rushing Toward Bad Deal so Congress Will Have Less Time to Review Agreement

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – As the P5+1 nations and Iran attempt to meet a new July 7 deadline for a nuclear agreement, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation today and urged the Obama administration to take the time needed and to not rush into a bad deal with Iran.

“Obviously, [the administration is] very anxious. I think they look at this as a legacy issue,” said Corker. “I have had several conversations with [Secretary Kerry] and meetings to say, ‘Look, you create just as much of a legacy walking away from a bad deal as you do headlong rushing into a bad deal.’… I would just hope that they would take their time and finish this in the best way that they can, even though we have already gone down a bad track.”

Corker noted that the administration seems more concerned with Congress having less time to review a deal than with getting a good deal.

“It’s not Congress that’s pushing to have all of the documents here by July 9. It’s these six major countries – plus Iran – that really, on behalf of the American people, they want Congress only to have 30 days to review this deal, instead of 60,” said Corker. “It’s amazing to me that, as we come to the end of this deal, the biggest issue of concern to these countries right now is that Congress would only have 30 days, not 60 days, to review the deal. I did talk to Secretary Kerry yesterday. I urged him to please take their time, try to make sure these last remaining red lines… do not get crossed.”

Corker added: “They’re rushing so that [Congress] will only have 30 days to look at this, instead of 60 days, which in itself should send a signal to Americans.”

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Public Law 114-17), authored by Corker, prevents the president from waiving or suspending congressional sanctions before Congress has the chance to vote on an agreement, if one is reached. Without the law, there would have been no limitation on the president’s use of waivers to suspend the sanctions Congress put in place; no requirement that Congress receive full details of any agreement with Iran; no review period for Congress to examine and weigh in on an agreement; no requirement that the president regularly certify Iran is complying; and no way for Congress to rapidly reimpose sanctions should Iran cheat.