Though thorny issues still reportedly remain unresolved, word from Vienna is that a deal could be announced today, Monday, on a nuclear arms agreement between Iran and world powers negotiating to keep Tehran from developing an atomic weapon. However, according to a report in The Chicago Tribune, as the hours tick by there are persistent signs that another so-called “deadline” for reaching agreement may pass.
With few signs that Iranian or U.S. negotiators were prepared to give ground, the high-stakes game of brinksmanship looked set to force a fourth extension of talks since the current round began 17 days ago.
The Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo is reporting that Iran is gaining the upper hand in the talks, saying that sources close to the negotiations have let it be known that “the United States has caved on most major issues.”
“…sanctions and an arms embargo against Iran will be lifted and restrictions on its nuclear activity will only be ‘temporary’ in a deal that falls ‘within the redlines’ laid out by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s state-controlled media,” says the Free Beacon coverage.
Meantime, in Washington — where skeptics continue to question the wisdom of accepting the deal points that have been discussed — one GOP senator is predicting “open congressional rebellion” if Secretary of State John Kerry brings home an agreement that doesn’t have sharp enough teeth to stop Iran’s development of the bomb.
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CNS News reports on Sen. Tom Cotton’s weekend appearance on an ABC affiliate in his home state of Arkansas. The conservative Republican lawmaker warned several times of a strong, bipartisan effort to kill the deal.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an open congressional rebellion, to include congressional Democrats,” Cotton told Arkansas ABC-affiliate KATV’s Talk Business & Politics program on Sunday.
“I think that many congressional Democrats are very worried about the path the president has taken, especially in these last two or three weeks,” he added, “and that you’re apt to see an open congressional rebellion and perhaps a veto-proof majority to stop the deal from going forward.”
Under a law signed by President Obama following Capitol Hill discontent over the deal-making process, Congress will have 60 days to review any agreement coming out of the talks in Vienna. Congress may vote on a joint resolution of approval or disapproval, or lawmakers may choose to take no action and let the arrangement with Iran stand.
If GOP Sen. Cotton is to be believed, adoption of the “let it stand” option appears unlikely.