Passage of Iran Bill Would Give Congress a Chance to Review Iran Nuke Agreement
‘The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act offers the best chance for our constituents, through the Congress they elect, to weigh in on the White House’s negotiations with Iran.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today emphasizing the importance of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act:
“It’s good to see that the Senate will soon be passing another important piece of bipartisan legislation.
“The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act offers the best chance for our constituents, through the Congress they elect, to weigh in on the White House’s negotiations with Iran.
“And make no mistake, they need to have that opportunity.
“The American people were led to believe that these negotiations would be about ending Iran’s nuclear program and its enrichment capability. But the current interim agreement makes one thing clear: these talks have devolved into something else altogether.
“Instead of ending Iran’s nuclear program, the interim agreement would actually bestow international blessing for Iran to continue it.
“Rather than meaningfully roll back Tehran’s enrichment capability and dismantle its nuclear infrastructure, the interim agreement would actually permit Iran to become a ‘nuclear threshold’ state poised right at the edge of obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Iran would love nothing more than for the international community to recognize its threshold program. And the Iranian regime would also love to be rid of the crippling sanctions that forced it to the table in the first place. Iran would of course divert those new funds to support the Assad regime, finance terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, modernize its conventional capabilities and further support the Houthis in Yemen. This would only reaffirm the fears of moderate Sunni allies that America is withdrawing in the face of Iran’s determined effort to expand its sphere of influence.
“And for all this, what would the United States gain from such an agreement from Iran? We would have given up our best leverage over the regime, and for what?
“That’s a good question.
“If a final agreement is reached that looks much like the interim agreement we’ve seen, it’s not hard to foresee the possibilities of negative consequences.
“And let me be clear. A bad agreement seems far more likely to eventually lead to the kind of military conflict everyone wants to avoid than no agreement at all. President Obama would also be leaving the task of dealing with violations of an agreement to his successor.
“I say this all to underline the need for the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act before us today.
“If we didn’t face the threats of filibusters, or the blocking of amendments, or the specter of presidential vetoes, this bill would be a heck of a lot stronger. I assure you.
“But the truth is, we do. That’s the frustrating reality. The response to this should not be to give the American people no say at all on a deal with Iran. The response should be to overcome those challenges in a way that will give Congress and the American people the best possible chance to review any possible deal and affect its outcome.
“I urge members of both parties to join me in supporting it.
“And make no mistake: That will not be the end of the story either. This Congress is determined to pursue other avenues to address Iran’s aggressive campaign of expansion and intimidation in the months to come.”
Related Issues: Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, National Security, Restoring the Senate