CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Today in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said discrepancies between Iran and the United States over the political framework agreement that was reached last week to limit Tehran’s nuclear program highlight the need for congressional review of any final deal. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on April 14 on Senator Corker’s bipartisan legislation, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, that requires the president to submit a final deal, if one is reached, to Congress before waiving or suspending congressional sanctions.
“As you just reported in Iran, they're reporting sort of the mirror image opposite of what's being reported here,” Corker said. “I know there are a lot of details that will be worked out over the next several months…and that's why it's so important that Congress play its rightful role in approving this prior to the congressionally-mandated sanctions that we put in place [being] alleviated.”
Senator Corker specifically identified some of the key issues yet to be resolved, including whether sanctions will be suspended immediately or in phases, if inspections will be able to detect covert activities, the process for resolving disputes over compliance, the detailed nature of the nuclear capability Iran will be allowed to maintain, and how and when Iran intends to reveal past military dimensions of its nuclear program.
He also disputed claims that his legislation mandating congressional review would disrupt the negotiations.
“Going through this in detail and making sure…the questions are answered is an appropriate thing for us to do. That doesn't mean that there won't be a deal. We just set in place a process to insure if there's a deal, it is a deal that will stand the test of time and keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Corker. “If the president feels like this is something that's good for the nation, surely he can sell this to the United States Senate and the House [of Representatives].”
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 would require any final agreement with Iran to be submitted to Congress for a 60-day review period before congressionally-mandated sanctions on Iran could be waived or suspended by the president. The legislation was coauthored by Senators Corker, Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.). Cosponsors of the bill include Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Bill Nelson (D- Fla.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Angus King (I-Maine), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dean Heller (R-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
For text and a summary of the bill, click here.