By Julian Pecquet - 11/21/13 01:59 PM EST
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Thursday introduced legislation that seeks to tie President Obama's hands in negotiations with Iran.
The bill would give the administration 60 days to conclude an interim deal with Iran and 180 days to get to a final deal. During that time, Obama would not be able to suspend sanctions unless he can certify to Congress that doing so would be “vital” to America's national security interests and that Iran is in full compliance of the agreement.
“It’s important for the Senate to proceed with this debate and keep the pressure on Iran during negotiations over their illicit nuclear program,” Corker said as international negotiators seek to hammer out a deal over Iran's nuclear program this week.
“Whatever the outcome in Geneva may be this week, I’m hopeful the Senate will work in a bipartisan fashion to strengthen the position of the U.S. in these negotiations so we can reach a final status agreement that will prevent the Iranians from ever developing a nuclear weapon.
"Toward that end, I’ve offered legislation that would ensure Iran is in full compliance with any interim agreement and agrees to the essential terms of an acceptable final deal before the U.S. could further lift sanctions.”
Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel, introduced his bill just as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his intention to hold a vote on Iran sanctions when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break in December. It's not clear what legislation Reid intends to bring to the floor.
“My sense is that it may not go through the Banking Committee,” Corker told reporters in a hallway interview. “I don't know for sure but indications are [we] would attempt to attach it to the [pending] Defense bill.”
Jeremy Herb contributed.
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