- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, vowed Thursday to block all of President Obama’s nominees to the State Department and hold up funding for the department unless the administration delays its efforts to seek United Nations approval for the Iran nuclear deal.

In a letter to the president, Mr. Cruz said Congress should get a chance to complete a mandated 60-day review of the agreement before the U.N. takes action. He said the administration is deliberately trying to make an end-run around Congress by introducing a draft resolution this week at the U.N. Security Council.

“It seems your administration intended all along to circumvent this domestic review by moving the agreement to the U.N. Security Council before the mandatory 60-day review period ends, thus adopting an agreement without congressional consent,” Mr. Cruz wrote.

A top House Republican also called on the Obama administration Thursday to scrap its plans to seek U.N. approval for the nuclear deal with Iran before Congress can complete its review of the accord.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said pushing the agreement through the U.N. Security Council before Congress can act “violates the spirit of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which the president signed into law.”

“It is inconceivable — yet sadly not surprising — that this administration would try to rush this agreement through the U.N. before it has even given Congress all the details,” Mr. McCarthy said in a statement. “Congress must have the opportunity, on behalf of the American people, to review the details and ramifications of this deal first.”

Mr. McCarthy said the timing of the administration’s move at the U.N. means the international body “could formally approve the nuclear accord before America’s representatives in Congress have even received the full text of the deal.”

“Such actions contradict the president’s own statements at a press conference yesterday that ‘it’s important for the American people and Congress to get a full opportunity to review this deal,” he said.

“Given the repercussions this deal could have on American foreign and national security policy for years to come, President Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power should scrap any plans to push this deal through the United Nations,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Republicans including Speaker John A. Boehner are expressing serious doubts about the pact, which has yet to be formally transmitted to Congress for review. President Obama is vowing to veto any effort by Congress to unravel the accord.

The deal, reached Tuesday by the U.S. and five other world powers, would curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions.

Mr. McCarthy said the timing of the administration’s move at the U.N. means the international body “could formally approve the nuclear accord before America’s representatives in Congress have even received the full text of the deal.”

“Such actions contradict the president’s own statements at a press conference yesterday that ‘it’s important for the American people and Congress to get a full opportunity to review this deal,” he said. “Given the repercussions this deal could have on American foreign and national security policy for years to come, President Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power should scrap any plans to push this deal through the United Nations.”

In Jerusalem, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Mr. Netanyahu sparred publicly over the Iran deal in a joint press conference prior to their meeting.

Mr. Netanyahu praised the United Kingdom’s efforts to fight anti-Semitism, but asked Mr. Hammond why Britain was not condemning Iran for a rally in which crowds chanted “Death to Israel,” just days before the nuclear deal was signed.

“We will judge Iran not by the chants on the streets of Tehran, but by the actions of its government,” Mr. Hammond said.

Mr. Netanyahu replied that Iran and its proxies have hundreds of thousands of missiles pointed at Israel, so the threat involves more than just chants.

Mr. Hammond said that Israel has legitimate concerns about a nuclear Iran, but that the deal would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We would not have agreed to the deal unless we were sure we had robust measures in place to control Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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