Strengthen Iran Sanctions Policy

Royce-Engel Letter Urging Greater Consultation on Iran

A bipartisan group of 344 House members has signed a letter to President Obama that calls for greater consultation between the administration and Congress on a potential sanctions relief package that may be part of a final deal with Iran.

The bipartisan letter, spearheaded by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), comes as the July 20 negotiating deadline rapidly approaches for reaching a final agreement with the Islamist regime.

The letter notes that when asked in a recent congressional hearing if the administration would come to Congress to secure legislative relief of sanctions in a final agreement with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry responded: “Well, of course. We would be obligated to under the law.”

Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881)

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881), authored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), aims to strengthen American diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

The legislation meets the president’s request that no additional sanctions be imposed during the talks. New sanctions, provided for in the bill, would be suspended for up to a year to facilitate negotiations for a final agreement, and could be suspended further if an acceptable final agreement with Iran is reached.

The legislation codifies President Obama’s pledge that new sanctions will be forthcoming if a final agreement cannot be reached and that any deal must “make it impossible [for Iran] to develop a nuclear weapon.”

Key Points

  • Royce-Engel Letter Urging Greater Consultation on Iran
  1. Congress, Administration Must Consult on Iran Sanctions
    Since Congress must approve any permanent sanctions relief, the administration must consult Congress about the outline of any final deal with Iran.

  2. U.S. Law Mandates Terms for Sanctions Relief
    Current U.S. law requires that most sanctions cannot be permanently lifted unless Iran’s nuclear weapons program is dismantled; its ballistic missile and unconventional weapons programs ended; and its support for international terrorism terminated.

  3. Potential Sanctions Relief Is Deeply Complex
    The magnitude and complexity of potential sanctions relief will require extensive engagement with Congress. U.S. sanctions encompass more than a dozen laws, executive orders, and scores of designations. However, the administration has not yet approached Congress about its plan for this critical issue. It is time to start that process now.

  • Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881)
  1. America Must Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon Capability
    Iran must not be allowed to achieve a nuclear breakout capability in which it could rapidly develop nuclear arms.  A nuclear Iran would likely signal the death knell of the global non-proliferation regime, embolden Tehran and destabilize the Middle East.

  2. Diplomacy Must Be Backed By Threat of New Sanctions
    Negotiations with Iran must be backed by the threat of additional sanctions and existing sanctions must be fully enforced.

  3. America Must Stand with Israel
    The United States must back Israel if it feels compelled in its own legitimate self-defense to take military action against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

Contact Your House Member

Thank your House member for signing the Royce-Engel letter urging the Obama administration to consult with Congress on Iran sanctions relief.

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Contact Your Senators

Urge your senators to cosponsor the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881).

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