- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

President Obama continues trying to sell a preliminary nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill, many of whom back legislation that would give Congress final authority over whether the agreement is implemented.

The president on Wednesday spoke by phone with Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. The committee plans to vote next week on a bill that would give the House and Senate 60 days to review and vote on the deal before the U.S. could lift economic sanctions on Iran or otherwise move forward with the deal.

Mr. Obama has vowed to veto that bill, but Mr. Corker has said he nearly has the needed 67 votes to override a veto.

Ahead of the April 14 committee vote, the president made the case to Mr. Corker that U.S.-led negotiations with Iran are the best path forward.

“President Obama telephoned the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, to talk to him about the commitments that Iran had made,” Mr. Earnest said. “The president said to him what he has said publicly, which is that he certainly has a lot of respect for the way that Chairman Corker has approached the situation. They have obvious differences, but the president made the case to him once again that the president believes that this principled approach to diplomacy is the best way for us to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“The conversation was not an opportunity for the two men to negotiate the terms of any sort of legislation, but rather just an opportunity for the president to speak directly to the chairman to underscore his view about the opportunity that now exists,” Mr. Earnest said.

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