Secretary of State John Kerry deflected bipartisan criticism of the Obama administration's move to take the Iran nuclear deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress has the opportunity to vote on it, saying the U.N. has a right to go first and to suggest otherwise was "presumptuous."
Obama had previously signed legislation that would give Congress 60 days to review and vote on the deal struck over Iran's nuclear program. But since agreeing on the deal with the other world powers, the administration has announced its intention to bring the deal to the United Nations first.
Thus, by the time Congress votes, the administration will argue that were the body to reject the deal, they'd be blowing up a U.N.-approved agreement.
This strategy has not only received criticism from Republicans, but also from Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, who called the move "presumptuous."
Pressed by Jon Karl in an interview airing Sunday on ABC's "This Week" to respond to such criticism, Kerry said of the U.N. voting first, "They have a right to do that. Honestly, it's presumptuous of some people to suspect that France, China, Russia, Germany, Britain ought to do what the Congress tells them to do. They have a right to have a vote."
Kerry argued that though the U.N. would be voting first, "we prevailed on them to delay the implementation of that vote out of respect for our Congress so we wouldn't be jamming them."