B’nai B’rith International is frustrated over the unanimous passage of the Iran nuclear deal by the United Nations Security Council, with the Obama administration virtually bypassing agreed upon Congressional review and committing the United States to a deal.
Under compromise legislation between the administration and Congress, lawmakers have 60 days to review the Iran nuclear deal. By submitting and passing the deal at the U.N. Security Council, the move undermines and contradicts the spirit of this compromise arrangement.
The U.S. Congress should have the full 60 days to review the details of the agreement struck last week between the P5+1 (United States plus China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany) and Iran.
The deal in the Security Council was unanimously endorsed by a vote of 15-0. While it is expected that implementation of the U.N. resolution will be delayed 90 days and sanctions will not be lifted until after an initial International Atomic Energy Agency inspection, the legal rationale for stripping away a decade worth of nuclear sanctions will have already been fixed.
When the deal was announced last week, we reiterated our long-standing concerns about Iran’s history of deception and denial about its nuclear program.
Congress has an important role in the coming weeks. Lawmakers must ask tough questions about inspections, plutonium enrichment and sanctions relief, including Iran's demand to immediately begin acquiring conventional weapons. The distraction of a Security Council vote will loom over Congress as it fulfills this investigative role. B’nai B’rith hopes those on Capitol Hill can sift through the noise and, if it is unsatisfied with answers to it's questions about elements of the deal, it should reject it.