Last month the Administration urged and supported the UN Security Council vote favoring the Iran nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This was despite strong bipartisan opposition from Senate Foreign Affairs and House Foreign Affairs Committee members. These Democrats and Republicans correctly argued Congress should review the agreement before it being considered by the UN.
Despite this strong bipartisan opposition, the President proceeded and is using the UN vote to pressure Congress to support the Iran nuke deal. Secretary of State Kerry said “If Congress were to veto the deal, Congress would be in noncompliance with this agreement and contrary to all of the other countries in the world.”
These actions are another example of the Administration’s bullying their way around the playground. The way to stop bullies is to stand up to them.
It’s Congress — not the United Nations — that should determine whether U.S. sanctions remain in force. Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act making clear Congress has the right to review the deal before its implementation. Specifically, the Act prohibits lifting the Iran economic sanctions until Congress has reviewed the agreement. Congress has 60 days to do so. If they reject the deal and the President vetoes it, Congress must muster 2/3rd support in order to override the Presidential veto. If this happens the Administration is barred from lifting the economic sanctions on Iran.
Unlike the Administration, we believe the Congress should disregard actions in the UN and consider the agreement based upon the merits.
• The U.N. resolution doesn’t require the lifting of U.S. sanctions.
• The restrictions on uranium enrichment will expire in 10-15 years while doing little to eradicate the centrifuges used to do the enrichment needed for nuclear weapons.
• It will set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Already the Saudis have demanded similar concessions on enrichment; like those given Iran. They’ve entered into negations with the French to acquire nuclear reactors.
• Our closest ally in the Middle East (Israel) opposes the deal.
• Meanwhile Iran stands to benefit financially. For 30+ years they’ve actively supported and financed/armed terrorist groups hostile to the U.S. They continually call for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S.
• Kerry has admitted it’s highly likely some of the $100 plus billion in frozen assets to be released would be used against U.S. interests.
• There are side agreements between Iran and the IAEA that have not been shared with U.S. officials, let alone made public.
• There’s a provision that could have the U.S. protecting Iran against possible Israeli strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
• No deal is better than a terribly bad deal.
The current economic sanctions on Iran are working. It’s better to keep them in place. Ultimately Congress cannot force the administration to scrap the deal, but it can ensure our sanctions remain intact; impeding Obama’s facilitation of Iran’s aspirations to become a nuclear force in the world.