Obama to veto bill letting Congress weigh in on Iran deal

Obama to veto bill letting Congress weigh in on Iran deal
US president Barack Obama

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the United States and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday. "The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council.

The United States and five other major powers are seeking to negotiate an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act would require to submit to Congress the text of any agreement within five days of concluding a final deal with Iran. The bill would also prohibit Obama from suspending or waiving sanctions on Iran passed by Congress for 60 days after a deal.

Meehan said United States "should give our negotiators the best chance of success, rather than complicating their efforts." Negotiations between the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran have reached a crucial stage, with a basic framework agreement due by the end of March.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, one of the bipartisan group of sponsors of the bill, said it was "disappointing that the president feels he is the only one who speaks for the citizens of our country."

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