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Report: Netanyahu tried to prevent Mossad briefing for US Senators on Iran

NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to cancel a January briefing for U.S. Senators by his nation’s intelligence service that warned Congress could damage talks aimed at constraining Iran’s nuclear program, according to sources familiar with the events.

Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had requested the Jan. 19 briefing for six of his colleagues traveling to Israel so that the intelligence agency, Mossad, could warn them that a Senate proposal might inadvertently collapse the talks. After Netanyahu’s office stripped the meeting from the trip schedule, Corker threatened to cut his own Israel trip short in protest.

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McConnell will delay Lynch unless Dems cooperate on anti-abortion language in trafficking bill

Loretta LynchSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday said Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, will not move until Democrats cooperate on a human trafficking bill.

Democrats have threatened to veto the bipartisan trafficking measure because Republicans included a provision that would prohibit restitution funds from paying for abortions.

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White House Issues Saturday Night Iran Deal Warning To Senate

Denis McDonoughIn an effort to reassert control over the domestic political debate surrounding sensitive negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, the White House penned a letter Saturday night warning senators to hold back on legislation that would detract from the president’s ability to affect and approve a final agreement with Iran.

The letter, written by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), reiterates a veto threat of the bill, while insisting that Congress will have a say in reviewing and affecting the ultimate outcome. But in far more detailed and foreboding terms than normal, McDonough lays out the administration's concerns should Corker's Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 end up becoming law.

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Koch Industries refuses to comply with US senators' climate investigation

Koch industriesThe Koch brothers’ conglomerate Koch Industries has refused to comply with an investigation by three Senate Democrats into whether the company has funded groups or researchers who deny or cast doubt on climate change.

In response to a request from senators Barbara Boxer, Edward Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse for information about Koch Industries’ support for scientific research, Koch general counsel Mark Holden invoked the company’s first amendment rights.

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Petition to prosecute 47 GOP senators over open Iran letter reaches goal

Letter to IranA petition asking to prosecute the 47 U.S. Republican senators, who sent a heavily criticized open letter to Iran's leadership, has reached the goal to require a White House response.

The petition was published on March 9 and reached more than 200,000 signatures in three days, well above the requirement of 100,000, which requires the White House to respond.

The petition cited the 1799 Logan Act, which can carry an imprisonment sentence for up to three years.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Responds to the Letter of US Senators

Dr. Jarad ZarifAsked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that "in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy.

It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.

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47 GOP Senators: Iran nuclear deal could be temporary

Freshmen senators send letter to ObamaA letter signed by 47 Republican Senators warned Iran any deal over nuclear weapons could last only as long as the Obama administration.

The open letter, by which Senators are attempting to get involved ongoing talks between Western countries and Iran to curtail Iran's nuclear program, prominently mentioned an agreement without congressional approval could be rescinded by the next President.

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