GOP senator: Without Congress, Iran deal would be worse
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that any deal concerning Iran's nuclear program should have to get through Congress, which would examine it inside and out.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) said Thursday’s tentative framework for an Iran accord was too important for President Obama to handle without help. He said a stronger deal for national security in the U.S. could come with congressional input, much like the sanctions that brought Iran to the bargaining table in the first place.


“The American people want someone to tease out all the details of this deal,” Corker said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“They understand this is one of the most important geopolitical deals of this decade,” he continued. “Congress needs to play a role.”

Corked also said that the threat of congressional oversight had already helped the U.S. and its allies drive a harder bargain with Tehran during negotiations over the last 18 months.

“We know we have already played a positive role,” Corker argued.

“I think everyone would say that congressionally mandated sanctions helped in a strong way get Iran to the table,” he concluded. “The fact that they knew Congress was going to weigh in helped them get us a deal that isn’t worse.”

Obama hailed Thursday’s outlined agreement as a “historic” moment during a Rose Garden address. The president has long argued diplomacy is the best way to prevent an Iran with atomic arms.

Thursday’s draft agreement would ease economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for greater regulation of its nuclear energy research. Iran has tentatively agreed to more atomic inspections and caps on its centrifuge and uranium supplies as part of the accord.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE led the U.S. charge during negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia joined the U.S. side of the bargaining table.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday vowed his nation would honor the deal’s rough sketch. The two sides now have until a self-imposed June 30 deadline to strike a final accord.