US Senators Have Got Exactly What They Wanted with Iran Deal: a Pathway to War

Bob_CorkerThe White House has agreed to a compromise over demands that the Republican-run Congress have a say in ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Under the new bill pushed by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, Congress will be allowed to review the final deal, set for no later than June 30th, and vote on whether to abide by it. No sanctions will be lifted prior to a 30-day congressional review, down from the 60 days that were originally asked for. Furthermore, a provision demanding proof that Iran isn’t sponsoring terrorism-sanctions on which were never part of the negotiations-will be scrapped. However, none of this will really matter in principle, because President Barack Obama will still be able to veto any negative decisions made, assuming he can maintain support from a third of Senate, which is likely.

Republicans have been against the deal for as long as negotiations have been underway, with this just being the latest attempt to run it into the ground. Previously suggested conditions on the deal’s approval include the aforementioned end to terrorist sponsorship, in addition to a demand from Florida Senator and Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio that Iran recognize the state of Israel, both obvious attempts to kill any chance of a deal while simultaneously undermining Obama and making war with Iran a greater possibility.

Currently the tactic is simply to delay the removal of sanctions, something which still seems to be a critical part of the negotiations. Neither the UN nor the EU-and now the US thanks to Corker’s bill-can eliminate sanctions immediately, and are instead prepared to ease them gradually as Iran fulfills its part of the bargain. Iran is currently against this approach however, and is instead asserting that sanctions be removed the day the agreement is made.

Thus the review period alone may be as bad as a ‘No’ vote. And the Republicans know it.

Further reading:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/15/us/senators-reach-deal-on-iran-nuclear-talks.html
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Senate-gets-a-say-on-Iran-N-deal/articleshow/46940658.cms
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/16/politics/congress-iran-bill-nuclear-deal/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/corker-iran-bill-veto_n_7058600.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/world/middleeast/irans-foreign-minister-warns-of-unlimited-atomic-fuel-enrichment-if-talks-on-final-agreement-fail.html

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