Corker Statement on Announcement of Nuclear Agreement with Iran
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement today regarding the announcement of a nuclear agreement with Iran:
“Throughout these negotiations, I have expressed significant concerns to the administration about the crossing of red line after red line as we have moved from a goal of dismantling Iran’s nuclear capabilities to managing its proliferation,” said Corker. “I want to read the agreement in detail and fully understand it, but I begin from a place of deep skepticism that the deal actually meets the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. In the coming days, Congress will need to scrutinize this deal and answer whether implementing the agreement is worth dismantling our painstakingly-constructed sanctions regime that took more than a decade to establish. Iran continues to be the lead sponsor of terrorism in the world and relieving sanctions would make the Tehran regime flush with cash and could create a more dangerous threat to the United States and its allies.
“Without the passage of our bill, Congress would have had no role in reviewing and voting on an agreement,” added Corker. “Once the president submits to Congress all of the documents associated with this deal, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will conduct a rigorous review during which time congressional sanctions will remain in place. Whatever actions the House and Senate ultimately take, the American people will have a full and open debate that a national security issue of this magnitude deserves.”
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Public Law 114-17), authored by Corker, prevents the president from waiving or suspending congressional sanctions on Iran before Congress has the chance to approve or disapprove of a final agreement.
Without the law, there would have been no limitation on the president’s use of waivers to suspend the sanctions Congress put in place; no requirement that Congress receive full details of any agreement with Iran; no review period for Congress to examine and weigh in on an agreement; no requirement that the president regularly certify Iran is complying; and no way for Congress to rapidly reimpose sanctions should Iran cheat.
The review period does not begin until all documents associated with an agreement are submitted to Congress along with assessments on compliance and non-proliferation. Once all documents are received, Congress will have 60 days for the initial review. Twelve additional days are provided if the House and Senate send a joint resolution to the president, and 10 more days are allowed for Congress to override a presidential veto.
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