J Street Welcomes Compromise on Iran Agreement Review Bill
J Street welcomes the compromise reached between members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (S.615). Under the compromise that won unanimous support in the committee, key provisions in the original draft, that had threatened to kill the nuclear negotiations with Iran, were removed. We also welcome the White House's openness to signing the bill in its new form into law.
We have consistently argued that Congress has a Constitutionally-appropriate role to play in the review and ongoing oversight of any final agreement reached in the current negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. The problem lay in congressional action that was deliberately designed to sabotage the negotiations before they could come to fruition. We urged the President to work with the Congress to find a mutually agreeable solution and we are pleased that he did.
Since Congress already has the power to consider and pass legislation relating to the President's waiver authority under current sanctions law, the incorporation of that inherent authority in S.615 renders it a legitimate and appropriate vehicle for Congressional consideration of any agreement reached.
The compromise's removal and rejection of certification requirements beyond the scope of the talks under the Joint Plan of Action and the framework announced on April 2 is a critical win for diplomacy and those who seek to verifiably prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Those who seek this outcome can now focus solely on supporting our negotiators as they work to finalize an agreement, and on ensuring that if and when a good agreement is reached, it enjoys the same support in Congress that it does among the American people.