The Corner

National Security & Defense

Obama’s Iran Deal Provides for Congressional Review — by Iran’s Congress

In his excellent Wall Street Journal column today, AEI’s Fred Kagan astutely spots an interesting anomaly in President Obama’s nuclear deal with the jihadist regime in Iran. While ignoring the United States Congress, the Obama administration has taken pains to defer a key component of the agreement so that it can be reviewed by Iran’s parliament.

The agreement proceeds along a timeline. Yesterday, July 14, was “Finalization Day.” That is significant because it obliges the parties to submit the final agreement “for adoption without delay” by the United Nations Security Council, which is to have the effect of terminating all Security Council resolutions against Iran. But as Fred observes, “The document doesn’t mention the 60-day window for review by the U.S. Congress, and the language in this section suggests that action in the U.N. will not await any congressional vote.”

Of course, the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council. Is Obama planning to force the Security Council to delay the adoption of a termination resolution in deference to Congress, on whose action American approval of the deal is contingent? Or are major steps in this non-ratified, unauthorized international agreement going to proceed on Obama’s unilateral say-so?

I think I know the answer, but I figured I’d ask.

We then move on to the next phase in the time-line, “Adoption Day,” which comes no later than 90 days after the afore-described termination resolution. As Fred explains, this is when Iran is supposed to commit to the enhanced inspection regime required by the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. [Treaty? Yes, it was a quaint procedure back in pre-Fundamental Transformation America.] But out of respect for Iranian law, Obama has agreed that Iran’s commitment in this regard is provisional “pending ratification by the Majlis” – Iran’s parliament.

I would note that, after the Khomeini revolution, when Iran became a full-throttle sharia state, the parliament became known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Its members swear, pursuant to Iran’s constitution, “to protect the sanctity of Islam and guard the accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution of the Iranian people and the foundations of the Islamic Republic.”

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), and other Republican leaders who pushed the Corker Bill through the Republican-controlled Congress decided it would be unreasonable and impractical to try to compel the President of the United States – the guy sworn to uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws – to abide by the U.S. Constitution and other federal law that governs international agreements and legislative sanctions.

Our president, however, with the apparent acquiescence of Congress, has made sure that the agreement respects Iran’s sharia constitution.

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