WASHINGTON — The Republican-led Congress signaled Wednesday that they won’t put foreign policy issues on the back burner despite cautions from President Barack Obama against interfering with ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led Congress signaled Wednesday that they won’t put foreign policy issues on the back burner despite cautions from President Barack Obama against interfering with ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.


House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of Congress next month to discuss the threats from Iran and radical Islam. The invitation was extended without informing the White House.


Israel has long voiced concerns over Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and Netanyahu has been suspicious of any nuclear deal in the works, warning that it could pose a security threat to Israel.


Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is also skeptical of the ongoing negotiations and instead favors imposing new and tougher sanctions against Iran to force them to abandon all its nuclear programs.


Obama, however, issued a veto threat against such sanctions as part of his State of the Union Address.


"New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; making it harder to ensure sanctions, and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again," Obama said.


Cotton said Wednesday that the veto threat underscores his concern that the negotiations would leave Iran poised to possess nuclear weapons in the not too distant future.


"This veto threat confirms that President Obama doesn’t want to hold Iran’s feet to the fire and once again proves these negotiations are a farce," Cotton said. "I welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks on this topic and look forward to hearing more of his perspective."


Boehner denied Wednesday that the Netanyahu invitation was meant as a "poke in the eye" to Obama.


"I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye. There is a serious threat that exists in the world, and the president last night kind of papered over it," he said.


In November 2013, Iran signed an agreement with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, that temporarily stopped or rolled back its production of potentially weapons grade nuclear material. In exchange, some economic sanctions against Iran were eased. The deal was extended last November for four more months as the parties continued to negotiate a permanent agreement.


In a recent speech at the Heritage Foundation, Cotton said that stopping the current negotiations would be in the best interest of the United States.


"What started as an unwise policy has now descended into a dangerous farce," Cotton said. "One can only suspect an unspoken entente between the Obama administration and Iran: The U.S. won’t impose new sanctions on Iran and we will allow it to build threshold nuclear capabilities while Iran won’t assemble a bomb until 2017."


In his address Tuesday, President Obama defended the diplomatic effort with Iran.


"Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material," he said. "Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies — including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict."


Not all Democrats are on board with Obama’s Iran policy.


The ranking Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed strong concerns with the progress of the negotiations at a hearing Wednesday.


"The more I hear from the administration and quotes. The more it sounds like talking points coming out of Tehran. And it heeds to the Iranian narrative of victimhood, when they are the ones with original sin: an illicit nuclear weapons program over the course of 20 years that they are unwilling to come clean on," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.