White House warns Senate on Iran measure

White House warns Senate on Iran measure
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The Obama administration late Saturday warned that legislation introduced in the Senate could derail Iran nuclear negotiations.

“The Administration’s request to the Congress is simple: let us complete the negotiations before the Congress acts on legislation,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughSamantha Power votes for Biden, praises his 'empathy and decency' Former Obama chief of staff endorses Biden Former Obama officials willing to testify on McCabe's behalf: report MORE wrote in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.).

McDonough wrote the administration has “welcomed Congress’ important role” in U.S. policy toward Iran and “takes seriously our continued engagement with Congress on the issue.”


But legislation introduced by Corker and Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees MORE (D-N.J.) that would allow Congress 60 days to review any nuclear deal struck with Iran before its implementation “goes well beyond ensuring that Congress has a role to play in any deal with Iran,” he added, repeating a veto threat.

McDonough wrote that the legislation would potentially prevent any deal from succeeding by suggesting that Congress must vote to approve any deal and removing sanctions waiver authority granted to the president.

McDonough also wrote that the legislation would embolden Iranian hardliners and set the U.S. apart from its allies.

“Put simply, it would potentially make it impossible to secure international cooperation for additional sanctions, while putting at risk the existing multilateral sanctions regime.”

The legislation could also set a “potentially damaging precedent” for constraining future presidents of either party, he added.

McDonough also addressed a letter to Iran leaders signed by 47 GOP senators, writing that non-binding agreements “are an essential element of international diplomacy and do not require congressional approval.”