Press Release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Washington, DC - On the heels of a series of political stunts on Capitol Hill that have heightened partisanship and threatened to sabotage nuclear negotiations with Iran, 50 organizations sent a letter to the Senate today warning against legislation that would entrust Congress with expanded powers to block an eventual nuclear deal.
The letter urges Senators to oppose the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S.615), and was signed by groups including the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, MoveOn.org, CREDO, and Americans for Peace Now.
“The outrageous political stunts in the Senate have made it clear that some in Congress will stop at nothing to kill nuclear talks with Iran, regardless of the consequences,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “Tom Cotton and his colleagues should not be rewarded with additional powers to sabotage a deal and drag the U.S. into war.”
As detailed in the letter below, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act contains numerous elements that risk disrupting negotiations in their final stage and blocking the President from using existing authorities to implement a prospective deal. The bill would delay implementation of any agreement for 60 days, insert conditions that are outside the scope of the P5+1’s negotiations, and provide Congress with new veto powers over a deal.
A copy of the letter is below:
Thursday, March 12, 2015
To: Members of the U.S. Senate
As organizations representing millions of Americans that support a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff with Iran, we strongly urge you to oppose S.615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. By threatening to reject a prospective nuclear deal, inserting conditions outside the scope of negotiations, and delaying the implementation of any agreement for months, this bill risks derailing the best chance to both prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and avert a disastrous war.
We understand that some members of Congress seek additional consultation and oversight regarding a final agreement. This bill is not the means to do so. Instead, this bill risks ensuring that there is no agreement for Congress to oversee in the first place. The politicized manner through which some have attempted to advance this bill, by seeking to bypass regular procedure and pass the bill at such a delicate time in negotiations, should give pause to those members who do not want to subject a potential nuclear deal to a vote that is based on politics rather than substance. If Members of Congress support this bill and it ends up defeating a nuclear deal, they would own the consequences of a diplomatic failure: an expanding Iranian nuclear program, the unraveling of international sanctions on Iran, and an increasing threat of war.
There are appropriate ways to increase Congressional oversight of a nuclear deal with Iran without threatening to scuttle a diplomatic solution. However, in order to give negotiations the best chance to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and avert war, it is important that Congress reject S.615.
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