Overwhelming majority say Congress should have role in Iran deal

An overwhelming majority of Americans say Congress should be involved in the nuclear deal that the Obama administration is negotiating with Iran.

Seventy-seven percent of likely 2016 general election voters think Obama and Congress should agree jointly to any nuclear accord, according to the survey by McLaughlin & Associates shared exclusively with The Hill.

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The strong public sentiment in favor of congressional oversight could help explain why the Obama administration reversed course earlier this week and endorsed a compromise brokered by Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMurkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow MORE (R-Tenn.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinMore Dems come out in public opposition to Kavanaugh Overnight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain MORE (D-Md.) that would give Congress a chance to review the final deal.

The poll was conducted for Secure America Now, a self-described nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising security issues “to the forefront of the American debate.”

Several prominent Republicans sit on the group’s board, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

The survey showed 73 percent of voters want transparency in the negotiations and believe the administration should publicly release everything agreed to with Iran in writing.

Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters earlier this week that the classified annexes of the accord, which could run to hundreds of pages, will not be made public.

A majority of Americans are deeply distrustful of Iran and believe Obama should do everything he can to stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, even beyond the window of the pending agreement.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents say the purpose of the talks should be to stop Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, while only 10 percent said the goal should be to accept Iran into the ranks of nations with nuclear arsenals.

Two-thirds said Iran would arm terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah, with nuclear weapons to be used against the United States.

Overall, a plurality — 35 percent — disapproved of the administration’s negotiations with Iran, while 29 percent approved. Almost 3 in 10 Americans are not aware or don’t know what to think about the talks.

The Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that would give Congress a 30-day review period to examine a final nuclear deal. During that time, Obama would be barred from waiving some sanctions.

The president would have 12 days after that review to veto a resolution disapproving of the deal, and Congress would have an additional 10 days to override a veto.