Mere hours after President Barack Obama promised to veto any new congressional sanctions on Iran, Speaker of the House John Boehner struck back, saying Wednesday he would invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress.
Netanyahu has warned of Iran’s security threat in the Middle East for years, and has resisted American attempts to normalize relations with Iran.
The Israeli leader is scheduled to address Congress on Feb. 11, just weeks before facing a tough re-election on March 17. Many in Israel say that his strength will come from reassurances of Israeli national security. (RELATED: Will Netanyahu Remain Israel’s Prime Minister?)
At Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Obama said that proposed new sanctions on Iran “will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails… ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.” He vowed to veto “any new sanctions bill” that interferes with progress toward an Iranian nuclear deal.
The measure in question is a bipartisan Senate draft bill which would only impose new sanctions on Iran should the ongoing negotiations with Iran fail to meet the agreed-upon June 30 deadline.
Boehner told a reporter Wednesday morning that Obama expected Congress to “stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran.” His response to the president: “Hell no!”
Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee who cosponsored the Senate sanctions bill, criticized his own party’s president as well, saying Obama’s Iran policy “sounds like talking points straight out of Tehran.”
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