- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2015

The top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Sunday rejected any notion that he undermined President Obama by joining forces with Republicans last week to force any final Iran nuclear deal to be submitted to Congress.

“No, no, no, not at all,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Under the deal brokered with Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican and committee chairman, the administration couldn’t lift any of the sanctions Congress has placed on Iran’s nuclear program until he presents all of the details to Capitol Hill and gives lawmakers a chance to have a say.

If Congress doesn’t act, Mr. Obama can lift the sanctions on his own.

The White House, which earlier had threatened vetoes of bills that might constrain the president, said Mr. Obama could accept the new restraints, saying it doesn’t believe the bill would disrupt the negotiations midstream since it only allows congressional action after the president’s team finishes its work.

Mr. Cardin shepherded Democrats on the committee ahead of the unanimous vote on Tuesday.

‘“We are on path to have much more unity between Congress and the White House,” Mr. Cardin said. “I think the president is in a stronger position now to deliver the type of diplomatic solution that prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.”

Lawmakers have said they aren’t prejudging the deal, which Mr. Obama’s team is still negotiating with Iran as a self-imposed end-of-June deadline approaches for fleshing out details of the framework that all sides agreed to earlier this month.

But Republicans have loudly insisted on having a role in the negotiations, citing mixed message from each side of the negotiations.

“The leadership in Iran is telling their citizens one thing. Our president and others are telling us another,” Mr. Corker told CNN.

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