Israel is pleased at a compromise deal on Iran achieved between the United States Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.
In what was seen as a setback for Obama, the U.S. president agreed on Tuesday that Congress should have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran, reluctantly giving in to pressure from Republicans and some in his own party over the barbed issue.
“We are certainly happy this morning. This is an achievement for Israeli policy,” Steinitz told Israel Radio, citing a March 3 speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress in which he argued against a then-emerging framework agreement with Tehran on curbing its nuclear program.
Steinitz said the compromise bill would be “a very important element in preventing a bad deal”, or at least in improving the April 2 blueprint that world powers charted with Iran.
The bill requires the Obama administration to send the text of any final agreement with Iran to Congress as soon as it is completed, and blocks Obama’s ability to waive many U.S. sanctions on Tehran while Congress reviews the deal. It allows a final vote on whether to lift sanctions imposed by Congress in exchange for Iran dismantling its nuclear capabilities.
It also requires that the White House send Congress regular, detailed reports on a range of issues including Iran’s support for terrorism, ballistic missiles and nuclear program.
“This is more pressure and another barrier in the face of a bad agreement, and therefore the administration and the negotiating team will make more of an effort to seal gaps and to achieve an agreement that looks better, or at least more reasonable, so that it will pass in Congress,” Steinitz said.
Obama has invested enormous political capital throughout his presidency in securing an international agreement to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, relying on tight sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy and forced it to negotiate.
Israel, believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, has differed sharply with Obama over the emerging accord, fearing it will not be stringent enough and will allow the Islamic Republic to develop its own atomic weapons.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but it has never welcomed intrusive inspections and has in the past kept some nuclear sites secret.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Crispian Balmer)
Chad Wolf’s authority is ‘illegitimate’: Hispanic Caucus chairman demands DHS chief ‘resign in disgrace’
Immigrant rights groups and Texas Democrats are urging a review on the legality of Trump administration immigration policies after a government watchdog found two of the White House’s top immigration officials are not legally eligible to serve in their respective positions.
The Government Accountability Office on Friday determined that Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, aren’t legally qualified to hold those posts.
United We Dream, an advocacy group pushing for immigration reform, said the GAO’s conclusion calls into question the latest guidance from the DHS on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that was initiated in 2012.
Lots of red hats — but not many COVID masks — at Bedminster ‘Cops for Trump’ event with the president
Enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and there is still no deal on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, but the president of the United States left Washington, DC on Friday for yet another weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.
"This weekend’s trip to Trump National Bedminster is the president’s 23rd since taking office, and will increase his golf-related taxpayer tab to $142 million in travel and security expenses," HuffPost White House corresponded S.V. Dáte reported Friday. "Trump has already spent 268 days on golf courses that he owns in his 1,303 days in office, of which 85 have been at Bedminster."
Trump declares that Fox News is ‘no longer the big deal’ in the 2020 presidential campaign
Donald Trump on Friday reflected on what he sees as the key differences between his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
"The biggest difference between the Presidential Race in 2020 and that of 2016 is the 2016 candidate, Crooked Hillary Clinton, was much smarter and sharper than Slow Joe, we have even more ENTHUSIASM now, and [Fox News] has become politically correct and no longer the big deal!" Trump tweeted after arriving at his Bedminster Golf Club for the weekend.
Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the network and its polls, which gave him more bad news on Thursday.