WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Friday it expects that as a matter of course, the U.N. Security Council would endorse any final nuclear agreement reached between world powers and Iran.
The State Department said if a comprehensive accord is struck by a June 30 deadline, it would be forwarded to the Security Council for its approval. All five permanent members of the council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — along with Germany are currently racing to complete the outlines of a deal with Iran by the end of this month. They have set the end of June as the deadline for a full agreement.
"We would anticipate that, if we're able to reach a joint comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran, an endorsement vote would be held by the U.N. Security Council," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She added that such a step should not be "a surprise" because of who is negotiating the agreement.
A Security Council vote on a resolution to endorse a possible deal would be separate from a vote to ease or remove United Nations sanctions on Iran, which would come only after Iran is found to be complying the with the agreement, Psaki said. And, a vote to remove U.N. sanctions would not affect U.S. sanctions, she said.
The administration has been criticized by members of Congress for pursuing an executive agreement with Iran that would not require their advice and consent as a formal treaty would.
And on Thursday, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned President Barack Obama not to try an end-run around Congress by getting the United Nations to implement a nuclear deal with Iran.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said letting the U.N. consider such an agreement, while at the same time threatening to veto legislation that would allow Congress to vote on it, is a "direct affront" to the American people and would undermine the role of Congress.
In exchange for signing onto a deal aimed at keeping it from developing nuclear weapons, Iran seeks relief from sanctions, including those imposed by the U.S. executive branch, the United Nations and Congress.