• Kerry Seems Willing To Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ For Nuke Deal, Says Senator

    Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said Wednesday Secretary of State John Kerry seems willing to do “whatever it takes” for an Iran deal, but he hopes congressional input will “stiffen the spine” of the administration.

    The Senate passed a bill to allow a vote on any agreement with Iran and limiting its nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions while seeking a greater role in President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. If an agreement is reached by the self-imposed deadline of June 30, terms will be sent to Congress for a 30-day review, leading to a vote on sanctions.

    Corker, speaking to reporters at the St. Regis Hotel, addressed the Saudi king’s absence from Obama’s summit of Gulf Arab states at Camp David this week, attributing it to members’ frustration at the administration’s policies and concerns over U.S. commitments to traditional allies.

    But the announcement is also related to “matters of convenience,” Corker added.

    The Iran deal, regional realignment and the U.S. position in Yemen are the major Gulf concerns, according to Corker. Saudi Arabia is currently leading a military campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels and restore the Yemeni president to power.

    In another instance of seeking foreign policy input, Congress discussed a draft authorization to approve the administration’s Authorization of Military Force in the undeclared war against the Islamic State, a terrorist organization spanning Iraq and Syria. The legal authorization hasn’t been passed, and wouldn’t change the situation on the ground anyway, says Corker.

    The White House is within the fringes of legality to battle the Islamic State without congressional approval, according to the Tennessee senator. It’s important America avoid appearing divided in the war against the terror group, says Corker. “That’s not a good thing for our country.”

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