On April 2, the Obama Administration and its P5+1 partners announced an historic framework agreement with Iran, aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Since then, opponents of Iran diplomacy and a deal – both in the United States and Israel – have doubled down on efforts to use Congress to scuttle diplomacy and undermine the possibility of getting to, and implementing, a final agreement with Iran.
Senators are being pressured to support S. 615 – and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to pass this bill on April 14. In its current form, the bill includes a number of poison pill provisions that will undermine diplomacy and likely kill a deal. These include provisions to delay implementation of a deal, legislate a congressional veto of a deal, strip the president of existing waiver authorities, and impose conditions for U.S. adherence to a deal that are unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program.
Senators are also being urged to support S. 269, which seeks to legislate new Iran sanctions that would be triggered if no deal with Iran is reached.
Both bills are entirely unnecessary. Passage of either bill risks undermining the ongoing diplomacy with the P5+1 and killing a deal – leaving the U.S. isolated and bringing the U.S. closer to the point where it will be forced to choose between a nuclear-armed Iran and another Middle East war.