Posted by: ZOA Staff
April 15, 2015
News Press Release

ZOA Praises Passage of Corker-Menendez Iran Bill Allowing Congressional Oversight

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today strongly praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for unanimously passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, (S. 615), which ensures that Congress will have the right to approve or disapprove whatever agreement may emerge from the nuclear weapons negotiations with the extremist Islamic Republic of Iran. This bill is necessary despite the fact the Constitution requires the vote of 2/3 of the Senate to approve any treaty.  President Obama wrongfully claimed this potential Iran deal was not a treaty, but simply an ‘Executive Agreement.’ Regretfully, the compromise bill removed a clause which would have prevented the deal from going forward as long as Iran continues its terrorism around the world. The compromise bill will allow Congress to vote to stop the deal if they wish, but will require 60 Senators and a simple majority of the House to accomplish this.  If the president vetoes any future Congressional action on the Iran deal, Congress could override the President’s veto with a 2/3 vote of each chamber, thereby stopping any Iranian deal.  Nonetheless, no one should be distracted from the fact that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, develop faster and more effective centrifuges, and develop missile technology to further their pursuit of a military nuclear capability. The President actually admitted in an NPR interview that in 13 to 15 years Iran will have an almost immediate nuclear breakout capacity, that after 10 years they will be allowed to enrich uranium without restriction and that after 15 years there are no restrictions on any nuclear facilities being constructed.

The Government of Israel has rightly emphasized that the world, and the US in particular, is capable of much more robust sanctions that could truly cripple the Iranian economy and that could place the Iranians in a position where they are desperate for a deal—a good deal for the world, not the bad deal currently underway.

This bill would delay the implementation of any deal the President approves by between 30 to 82 days, and the President would be prohibited from dropping sanctions during that time period.

ZOA National President Morton Klein said: “ZOA has always believed that Congress must have an opportunity to make its voice heard regarding any deal with Iran, and this compromise allows that result.  At the same time, we are disappointed that terrorism can continue against Americans and Israelis without any consequences to the terrorist regime in Tehran.  A tragic and dangerous outcome of already eased sanctions resulting from these negotiations is the increased funds the Iranian regime now has to purchase from Russia this week the modern S300 anti-aircraft missile system. This sale makes a mockery of President Obama’s absurd claim that sanctions will ‘snap back’ into place if Iran cheats on the nuclear deal. The S300 sale proves that President Obama has little influence over Russia, given that they made this sale even before any deal with Iran was signed and before most sanctions were withdrawn.  Iran will benefit from hundreds of billions of dollars that sanctions relief will provide them, which they will surely use to increase their funding and arming of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups.”

Daniel Pollak and Josh London, Co-directors of Government Relations for ZOA stated: “It is laudable that Congress has asserted its right to function as a coequal branch of government. There is an increasingly bi-partisan recognition in Congress that any deal that is likely to emerge at this point from the President’s negotiations will, unfortunately, still actually enable Iran to become a nuclear weapon state.  All of this assumes as well that there will be no Iranian cheating. Given Iran’s history of repeated violations of every agreement they have signed, it is unlikely the Iranians will be faithful to this agreement. Any potential cheating would probably go undetected, though, because the inspections regime does not require Iran to allow military bases to be accessed. The Government of Israel has rightly emphasized that the world, and the US in particular, is capable of much more robust sanctions that could truly cripple the Iranian economy and that could place the Iranians in a position where they are desperate for a deal—a good deal for the world, not the bad deal currently underway. The ZOA believes that it must be the policy of the US to head off an Iranian military nuclear capability using all the assets of our great and mighty nation. This bill is a step forward in marshalling the will of the American people to stop Iran from achieving that nuclear weapons capability, and to prevent the disastrous consequences of Iran being a nuclear threshold state. Without a strong deal, military action may be the only way to stop a nuclear Iran and a nuclear arms race in the region.”