Rubio, Colleagues Seek Congressional Review Of Any Final Iran Nuclear Agreement
Washington, D.C. – With a four-month extension of Iran nuclear talks announced by the Obama administration last week, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today joined Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and James Risch (R-ID) to introduce legislation requiring congressional review of any final agreement with Iran. The bill also would prevent further extensions of the negotiations, strictly enforce Iran’s compliance, and prevent implementation of a final agreement if a veto-proof majority of Congress disapproves of the deal
An excerpt of Rubio’s exchange is below:
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
July 23, 2014
“Any final agreement of a matter of this consequence should be reviewed by this body, should come before Congress, and should have the ability of Congress to provide oversight over it. And the absence of that, I believe, unfortunately, leaves us vulnerable – not just to a terrible deal – but to a dangerous one that could potentially endanger the future of our allies and even of our own country.”
“So the Iranians in this whole negotiation view themselves as being in a position of strength. To be quite frank, they believe that our president wants this deal more than they do. They believe he wants this deal more than they do. And that’s what puts them in this tremendous position of strength. And the result is that these negotiations are not going to, in my view – I hope that I’m wrong, I hope that tomorrow we open up and read, you know what? They’ve changed their mind. They don’t want to do any more terrorism, no rockets and no nuclear weapon program and they’ve become just a normal government and a normal country.
“Don’t hold your hopes out for that because that is not what they’ve shown in the past, that is not what they’re doing now, and they are negotiating from a position of strength because they believe that the president wants a deal much more than they want or need a deal.”
The Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act of 2014 contains the following key provisions:
- Congressional Review: The president must submit any comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran to Congress within three days of concluding such an agreement. After a 15-day review period, Congress has another 15 days to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval, which would have expedited consideration in both the House and Senate. If the president fails to submit any final agreement to Congress or a joint resolution of disapproval is enacted into law, any sanctions that had been temporarily lifted would be re-imposed.
- Making Sure Iran Doesn’t Cheat: Within 10 days of the intelligence community receiving evidence that Iran has failed to comply with the terms of an agreement or cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Director of National Intelligence must determine whether the information is credible and accurate and notify Congress. A determination that Iran has cheated would re-impose all sanctions that had been temporarily lifted.
- No More Extensions: If the president does not submit a comprehensive final agreement to Congress, all sanctions relieved under the interim agreement would be immediately restored on November 28, 2014, four days after the end of the extension period. This allows the president to negotiate while ensuring the Iranians do not use the negotiations as a delaying tactic or a cover for advancing their program.