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The Iran Nuke "Deal"
Should Congress be Involved?

April 20, 2015

There’s been a lot in the news lately that raises a familiar question – should
the President take unilateral action or get Congress involved?  

The President is attempting to negotiate a deal he claims would keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  The Senate, which has the Constitutional authority to ratify treaties, is considering bipartisan legislation to assure they get a say in the matter.  The bill provides a skeptical Congress the opportunity to review the deal and prevents the president from lifting congressionally-sponsored sanctions on Iran prior to, or during, the review period.  Meanwhile the White House is resisting this effort.

A point of contention is whether the President has the authority to lift the economic sanctions currently in place as a precondition for Iran to accept the deal.   A large majority of Senators say they want to take a hard look at the deal before sanctions are lifted.  The White House is saying that not lifting the sanctions will put getting a deal out of reach.
Article II of the Constitution puts the responsibility for foreign policy squarely on the shoulders of the President while also ensuring the Congress has a say in the matter.  The President “…shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…”

If lifting the current economic sanctions is part of the agreement/treaty then the Congress certainly has a right to impose itself in the process. But the jury is still out, whether the President has the power to lift sanctions, on his own.
Most would agree that Iran isn’t to be trusted. They’ve said all along their goal is to wipe Israel off the map and they chant "Death to America!"   Iran is also one of the leading sponsors of terrorism in the world – recently two officers of its Revolutionary Guard who were helping the rebels in Yemen were captured by Yemen government militia forces. 
Iran also has a history of reneging on previous agreements.  As soon as the President announced the deal’s “framework” Tehran accused the Administration of lying.  It publically rejected most of the concessions the White House announced had been agreed upon.  For example, they won’t allow international inspectors to enter contested military sites and Iran's controversial nuclear program will continue unabated under the deal. 

Allowing Iran to get a nuclear weapon is a very dangerous thing indeed.  Unlike the Russians who during the cold war kept their finger off the launch button, Iran’s radical religious leadership cannot be trusted to do likewise even under the threat of retaliation and annihilation; because they’re looking forward to the chaos that will bring back their Twelfth Imam (i.e. world savior).  Additionally the possibility of Tehran becoming a nuclear power has already started a nuclear arms race among the Arab nations in the region.

Our allies in the region see the U.S. as being weak.  Is there any wonder that they are concerned or that an almost veto-proof majority in the U.S. Senate demands a say?  The stakes are too high to broker the deal alone. We believe Congress' involvement would strengthen the President's hand; while ensuring the American people support his efforts.

Bill, Mark, and John