A California Democrat warned that an Iran deal would have to be “spectacularly good” — and “I’m not hearing that at all,” added Rep. Brad Sherman — for Congress to change course on Iran sanctions.
The deadline for a framework with Iran is today. Congress returns from spring break in two weeks.
“So the most the president will be able to deliver is that he’ll suspend the sanctions for the rest of his presidency and when we get a new president, and we’ll have to see who that is and what their platform is,” Sherman told MSNBC.
He acknowledged that the power to override President Obama’s expected veto rests on the shoulders of his party.
“I would hope that Congress would push the politics and the personalities out of this, and evaluate the deal,” he said. “And if it’s a bad deal, pass new sanctions.”
Sherman stressed that “anything is better than returning” to a policy of doing “nothing to sanction Iran and Iran went full speed ahead with their centrifuges,” as in the past.
“If this deal breaks apart, we can’t just walk away, do nothing and say, well, the sanctions that were strong enough to quote, bring Iran to the table will be sufficient to get them to suspend their program,” he said. “Obviously, if these talks break down, it’s proof that that wasn’t the case. So if the talks don’t go forward, we need a new program. We can’t just continue what we’re doing.”
There is broad unity in Congress about having a voice in any final deal with Iran.
“It sounds like it’s going to get pushed now, again, to June about, you know, the number of centrifuges, inspections monitoring where the stockpiles that they currently have go,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told Fox this morning. “But I think the really important thing to focus on is the breakout period and that’s how long would it take for Iran to acquire a nuclear capability. That’s going to be of great interest to the Saudis and the Egyptians, everybody in the region.”
“…You’ve heard now the administration saying it may go to the United Nations to get this thing ratified or approved. And that would be a big mistake, because Congress does represent the collective voices of the American people who I think have great concerns and should about what this might mean, not only to the region and a lot of our allies, but certainly, obviously, the national security interests of the United States, as well.”