A lame-duck Congress and a lame-duck President are locking horns today over the question of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, a subject which has sparked several battles between the two sides over the past year, and has both warning the other side not to try anything in the next month and a half.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest warned against any legislation by the Congress intent on undermining the deal, saying Obama would not be willing to sign anything that would undermine the deal’s implementation or the international community’s ability to enforce it.
At the same time a number of House Republicans are warning that Obama had better not take any action to try to defend the nuclear deal before he leaves office, saying Obama mustn’t refuse to sign anything, and must not offer any waivers under the deal.
Congress is pushing bills to impose new sanctions on Iran, and an attempt at a wholesale ban on all sales of civilian airliners to the nation. The Obama Administration just recently gave Airbus a waiver for airliner sales to Iran, and Boeing has a similarly-sized deal in the works.
President-elect Donald Trump is expected to be more harsh than Obama about enforcement of the deal, but has backed away from talk of tearing the pact up entirely. Despite this, several Congressional hawks are still expressing hope that Trump will allow them to further undermine the international agreement.
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