abril 19, 2015
U.S. Senate panel unanimously backs amended Iran bill
As published by the Haaretz.com on Apr. 14, 2015


Read in spanish.

As published by Haaretz.com

By Barak Ravid    | Apr. 14, 2015 | 11:16 PM

White House earlier said Obama would sign the amended version of the bill, after Democratic and Republican foreign relations leaders reach compromise.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a softened version of the bill that would give Congress oversight of a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, if such a deal is reached by June 30.

The approval of the deal was possible after a compromise was reached between Republican and Democratic members of the Senate panel, in which most of the clauses opposed by the White House were removed. These are clauses that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had wanted to see part of the bill.

The committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Bob Corker, who formulated the original bill, hammered out the compromise together with the senior Democratic member of the committee, Senator Ben Cardin.

According to the bill in form in which it was passed, the period of time Congress will have to review a deal with Iran has been cut from 60 to 30 days. A clause was also removed from the bill that stated that the lifting of sanctions against Iran would be conditioned on Iran’s ending its support for terror organizations. This was a clause that was put into the bill following Netanyahu’s call not to sign an agreement with Iran unless it ceased its support for terror.

As part of the compromise, a proposal by Republican Senator Marco Rubio to insert a clause conditioning any nuclear agreement with Iran on the latter’s recognition of the right of Israel to exist, was rejected. This clause was also inserted at the behest of Netanyahu.

The bill also states that the foreign relations committee of both the Senate and the House will vote on the comprehensive deal with Iran, if it is attained. If the committee votes against the bill, Congressional sanctions on Iran will not be able to be lifted, which could stop a comprehensive agreement from going through. In such a case, according to the bill, President Obama could veto the decision within 12 days of its passing.

From the time of the president’s veto, the Senate will have 10 days to try to vote to change the decision. In such a case, Obama will have to obtain the support of 34 senators for the agreement to waive the sanctions imposed by Congress.

Now that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed the compromise bill, it is expected to be voted on by the full Senate. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in his daily press briefing on Tuesday that Obama would sign the bill in the form it was passed. Earnest’s remarks show that most of the clauses that bothered the White House had been removed.

Talks between Iran and the world powers to formulate a comprehensive nuclear deal are expected to be renewed on April 21. The talks will not be at the level of foreign ministers, but rather at the level of leaders of the negotiating teams.




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