Secretary of State John Kerry will appear before Congress next week to answer questions about the nuclear deal forged with Iran in Geneva.
Kerry has agreed to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Dec. 10, where he’ll face members highly skeptical over the six-month agreement. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have noted that it doesn’t stop uranium enrichment or halt production of centrifuges, and doesn’t allow for unannounced inspections of its facilities.
Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), among the critics of the deal, authored the bipartisan Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850), which overwhelmingly passed the House in July.
“I continue to have serious concerns that the agreement the Obama administration negotiated does not meet the standards necessary to protect the United States and our allies,” Royce said. “The deal does not roll back Iran’s nuclear program, but instead allows Tehran to keep in place the key elements of its nuclear weapons-making capability.”
“Under the agreement, the international community relieves the sanctions pressure on Iran while its centrifuges continue to enrich uranium,” he said. “This hearing will be an opportunity for committee members of both parties to press Secretary Kerry to explain why the Obama administration believes this sanctions-easing agreement is the right course.”
The House returned from Thanksgiving this week, while the Senate returns next week. A new piece of sanctions legislation is expected to surface in the upper chamber, forged by a bipartisan group of 14 senators wary of the Iran deal.