Republican Senator John McCain has threatened that the US Senate would block any nuclear deal, should the Obama administration reach an agreement with Iran.
McCain told CNN on Sunday that “we will do everything in our power to make sure we do play a role because we think that's our constitutional obligations.”
“I don't think they will reach a deal that we can live with,” he added.
Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – are currently negotiating to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement as a July 1 deadline draws closer.
“I would imagine it may be enough to have enough votes in the United States Senate to not approve of it. And we will insist on approval and not going to the United Nations,” the hawkish senator said.
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote in mid-April on a controversial bill requiring Obama to submit any agreement with Iran for a congressional review.
The legislation would require Obama to submit the text of any deal to Congress and would ban the White House from lifting any sanctions for a period of 60 days so that Congress could hold hearings and debate the deal.
Republican Senators John McCain, Joe Donnelly, Marco Rubio, Heidi Heitkamp, Kelly Ayotte, Bill Nelson, Jim Risch, and Angus King were co-sponsors of the bill.
In an effort to sabotage the talks, a group of 47 Republican senators sent an open letter to Iran earlier this month, warning that whatever agreement reached with President Barack Obama would be a “mere executive agreement” and that Congress could ultimately walk away from any deal with Tehran upon review.
Obama, who was “embarrassed” by the letter, said it was “close to unprecedented” that members of Congress would send a letter to Iran carrying the message that “don't deal with our president because you can't trust him to follow through on an agreement.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry also denounced the Republican letter as an “unprecedented” and “calculated” attempt to interfere with ongoing nuclear talks.