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April 3, 2015 11:39 am

Criticism by US Lawmakers Mounts on Iran Deal as Obama Faces Potential Senate Showdown

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U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he is "confident" in a strong vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. Photo: U.S. Senate. Criticism by US lawmakers of the Iran nuclear framework deal announced on Thursday is mounting as President Barack Obama faces a possible showdown with Congress over its role reviewing the agreement when it returns from recess on April 14.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) ripped apart the nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that President Obama’s negotiation team was worse than Great Britain’s pre-war Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Nazi Germany in 1938.

“Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran,” Kirk said in reference to Obama’s top State Department negotiator on the Iran deal, Politico reported.

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that a we “must remain clear-eyed” regarding Iran’s intentions and “long history of covert nuclear weapons programs, support of terrorism, destabilizing the Middle East.”

Corker, who is a co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 requiring any final agreement to be submitted to Congress for a 60-day review period before U.S. sanctions on Iran could be waived or lifted, said that he is “confident of a strong vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee takes it up on April 14.”

While Senate Republicans support the Iran review bill, Democrats have been under intense pressure from the White House not to support it. Republicans would need at least a two-thirds majority if they seek to override a potential Obama veto.

The top Democrat on the foreign relations committee, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said that while Congress has the right to review the agreement, he didn’t want to undermine the president.

“I want it to strengthen the president, not weaken the president, I don’t want it to undermine negotiations,” Cardin said on Thursday, Politico reported.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is leading a congressional delegation to Israel this week, said that the parameters of the deal are an “alarming departure from the White House’s initial goals.”

“After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East this week, my concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown,” Boehner said in a statement.

“It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region,” he said.

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