Marie Harf

US congress plays vital role in reaching Iranian nuclear deal: State Department

US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf

WASHINGTON, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Congress plays an important role in the decision making process to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, the US Department of State spokesperson Marie Harf said.

“It’s too early to tell which sanctions would require legislative versus executive actions to suspend or to lift, but if we get a comprehensive agreement it is absolutely true that the sanctions regime we put in place cannot be undone without congressional action,” Harf told reporters Monday at a press briefing.

The White House has decided that if an agreement is reached, US President Barack Obama would avoid a vote in Congress on any nuclear deal with Iran, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Harf argued that Congress plays a key role in the negotiating process and the White House would in fact consult in the legislative body.

The Times article also referred to a private US Department of Treasury study that President Obama has the authority to suspend the majority of Iranian sanctions without a vote by Congress. However, the article added, that only Congress can terminate sanctions permanently.

“The notion that we are somehow trying to avoid congressional input and consultation is I think preposterous,” Harf said. “This is probably a topic that we have talked to and consulted with Congress more than any other one,” she added.

The US and world powers from Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany are in the process of negotiating a deal with Iran that would include the country agreeing to cut back on its nuclear program in exchange for the US loosening sanctions on the country.

The world powers have set the negotiating deadline on Iranian nuclear deal to November 24 after already extending it once before.

By RIA Novosti


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