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article imageOp-Ed: Kerry begins to accept that Congress will have say on Iran deal

By Nathan Salant     Apr 15, 2015 in World
Washington, D. C. - Sounds like a fourth-grade social studies teacher finally got to him.
Of course, we’re speaking about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the longtime U.S. Senator who took over the State Department when Hillary Clinton left in 2013.
Maybe it was all the pressure from months of negotiating with top leaders of Iran in foreign world capitals that made him forget how things worked in Washington – hard to say.
But hearing him talk about how he doesn’t want Congress to “interfere” with his efforts to reach a deal with Iran limiting that country’s future capacity to produce nuclear weapons was just too much.
He works for them, and they work for us. Simple. End of discussion.
If Kerry doesn’t want to do what Congress says, he needs to find another job.
So, maybe that’s why he was back before the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13, begging for a couple more months to negotiate with the Islamic Republic.
That’s right, he has to ask them for permission to continue to negotiate – none of this “Oh, it’s the president’s prerogative” stuff.
That doesn’t work with the people who know the rules; the ones who make the rules – the ones who authorize his $4,000-a-week paychecks.
“We hope Congress will listen carefully but also give us some space so we will be able to complete a very difficult task,” Kerry told House members in a closed briefing, according to the Reuters news service.
Kerry was scheduled to appear before the Senate on Tuesday.
Kerry is reportedly on Capitol Hill to persuade lawmakers not to impose conditions on the outcome of the Iran talks.
U.S. President Barack Obama initially threatened to veto anything Congress came up with, but has since relaxed that stance since critics of his rapprochement with Iran appear to be approaching enough votes to override.
Concern has risen in the United States over the Iran negotiations because information leaking from the talks seem to reveal major concessions by Washington, even as volatile, negative rhetoric from Tehran appears to be increasing.
Iran agreed April 2 to the framework of a deal with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States that imposes limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for relaxation of world economic sanctions.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only while the United States claims the program has military dimensions.
The final deal is due by June 30.
But legislation proposed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that appears likely to be approved would give Congress 60 days to approve any agreement with Iran while blocking sanctions relief in the interim.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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