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Islamic State takes pressure off Iran

For now, Republicans have abandoned their Iran sanctions push as the fight against the Islamic State takes front stage.
U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers (L) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) (R) appear at the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 11, 2014. The hearing is for Rogers' nomination to be director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. Rogers and Kirk were high school classmates in Chicago.  REUTERS/Gary Cameron  (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS) - RTR3GLRD

Remember Iran? The dominant foreign policy issue of the past year has fallen by the wayside as Congress focuses on the rise of the Islamic State (IS). Republicans who just months ago vowed to use every tool at their disposal to force a vote on new sanctions in the Senate have shelved those plans, and even the GOP-controlled House isn't scheduled to hold a single hearing before the midterm elections.

The shift in focus has given President Barack Obama's negotiating team welcome breathing room as it pursues a nuclear deal in Vienna, even as congressional skeptics fret that Iran will take advantage of the lull in attention.

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