- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2014

The White House Monday called “preposterous” a report that the Obama administration will not seek congressional approval to suspend sanctions against Iran if a deal on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program can be reached.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz called the report in the New York Times “wrong” and said the administration will continue to consult Congress “heavily” on Iran sanctions.

“The notion that we are trying to go around Congress on this is preposterous,” he told reporters in Chicago, where Mr. Obama was holding a fundraiser late Monday.

The Times report, citing American and Iranian officials, said Iran has agreed in principle that a “suspension” of sanctions would be enough for them to take away from the negotiating table.

Mr. Schultz said the report “conflates” the issue of congressional action to suspend or lift sanctions, and the question of whether the administration wants lawmakers to hold an “up or down vote” on a deal.

“It’s way too early to speculate on which sanctions will require legislative versus executive action to suspend or lift,” he said. “If we do get a comprehensive arrangement, it is absolutely true that the sanctions regime we have in place cannot be undone without congressional action.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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