Published On: Mon, Jul 20th, 2015

Obama administration skirts Congress, gets UN approval of Iran deal

During the closed-door talks in Vienna on limiting Iran’s nuclear program, Secretary of State John Kerry argued that the United Nations Security Council should not vote on lifting sanctions on Iran until Congress had a chance to review the deal. Kerry and the Obama administration failed to stand strong with Russia and America’s European Allies winning in the end as the deal went before the UN Security Council.

The Obama administration submitted the Iran nuclear agreement to Congress on Sunday for what promises to be a controversial 60-day debate.

At least two senior Democrats have joined the Republican leadership in complaining that the Security Council’s approval on Monday pre-empts the congressional debate.

“The country that invaded two countries in our region and created favorable grounds for the growth of terrorism and extremism is not well placed to raise such accusations against my country,” Iranian U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said, calling past U.S. actions in the region “feckless” and “reckless.”

The exchange, which came as Israel’s representative continued to assail the deal itself, hung over what was nevertheless the first formal step at the international body toward implementing the deal and rolling back U.N. sanctions.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on Monday called it an “end-run around Congress.”

Photo/Tijl Vercaemer

Photo/Tijl Vercaemer

“I don’t know why they’re going to the United Nations [first],” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told “Fox News Sunday.”

Cardin and Barrasso were joined by several top-ranking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in urging a pause at the U.N.

Congress has 60 days to review the deal — and then vote for or against it, or take no action. “I think they should have gone to the United Nations after the 60-day review,” Cardin said. “They don’t gain anything by doing it earlier.”

The Obama administration argued that they were still showing deference to Congress, and that the U.N. shouldn’t be delayed during that review period.

“They have a right to [vote on the deal], honestly. It’s presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, Russia, China, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do,” Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC’s “This Week.” “They have a right to have a vote. But we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect for our Congress so we wouldn’t be jamming them.”

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry in the Oval Office, Nov. 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry in the Oval Office, Nov. 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


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  1. Thousands protest Iran deal as John Kerry addresses Congress - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said the administration had “given up our veto at the U.N. on Monday,” when the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to lift international sanctions. […]

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