The U.S. is facing a March 31 deadline to reach an agreement with five world powers and Iran to limit Iran's nuclear program, but a top Democrat and Republican are suggesting that rushing to meet that deadline could lead to a bad deal.
From the "bits and pieces" he has heard about the negotiations, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that the deal, "doesn't seem to be headed in the right direction."
"Clearly, with a deadline of Tuesday, I'm concerned with what we might give away. The Iranians don't seem to want to conclude this," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "I think now's the time to push back from the table and ask ourselves, 'Is it really time to trust the people that we're negotiating with, the Iranians?' So I would encourage the administration, let's take more time. Let's not hasten to a deal."
Postponing the deadline is "better than a bad deal," he said. And, he added, "I've got a really bad feeling about what they might come up with."
The idea got a nod of approval from California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who appeared in a separate interview.
"Clinging to this deadline really puts us at a disadvantage if it appears we need to reach a deal by then more than the Iranians do. So I would be in favor of taking the time we need to see if we can get a good deal by the end of June," he said.
The talks between six world powers and Iran were already extended for an additional seven months last November when the parties involved failed to reach a deal.
Schiff said he favors a good deal if the U.S. can negotiate one with Iran, in part because he believes the alternative to a deal is "dangerous."
"The alternative is we pass these sanctions, which I support. We hope to keep the Europeans together, if we're lucky. And we wait for that additional economic pressure to bring Iran back to the table and get a better deal," he said. "The problem is that may take years. And they may get to Israel's red line or our own before that time comes."
Both lawmakers noted that the world powers and Iran are trying to wrap up negotiations as the U.S. is backing a Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign against Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. In a separate "Face the Nation" interview, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, said that "everybody wants a good deal" with Iran.
He said that Secretary of State John Kerry has assured Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies that the deal would prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb, limit Iran's ability to research and enrich uranium, and impose "intrusive and continuous inspections on Iran in the future."
"Now, we hope this will be the case," he said. "But we really will not know until we see the details. ... The key will be what will be in those details."
Schiff said it is important that the U.S. is backing Saudi Arabia's campaign to curb Iran's influence in Yemen through the Houthi rebels, which have overrun the country and driven out Yemen's president.
"That may give the Saudis some comfort that, even if we do reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, that doesn't mean that we're not going to be willing to confront Iran as it tries to expand its quite nefarious influence throughout the region," he said.