House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday he is inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month about the threat from Iran, in a sharp rebuke to President Obama, Fox News reports.
Such invitations typically are coordinated with the White House and State Department, but this one was not. The House speaker’s office said Netanyahu will be invited to speak Feb. 11 before a joint session of Congress. The invitation comes as lawmakers weigh legislation, supported by Republicans and some Democrats, to tee up more sanctions against Iran in case negotiations fail to curtail the country’s nuclear enrichment program.
Obama vowed Tuesday during his State of the Union address to veto any such legislation. But Boehner signaled he wants Netanyahu to explain the stakes of the debate, as he pledged to press ahead with the legislation.
In his State of the Union address, Obama warned that legislation setting new potential sanctions would “all but guarantee that diplomacy fails.
The United States and five other world powers have reached a tentative deal with Iran. The countries are trying to reach a final deal by June 15.