In a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, 47 senators explained that unless Congress approves whatever agreement is made between President Obama and Iran, the next presidential administration is free to revoke it. Critics have responded with outrage, and even accusations of treason. But, writes Elliott Abrams, Congress has both a right and a duty to exercise a role here, especially if it can prevent the president from making a bad bargain:
Iran is likely to cheat on any deal. Its nuclear record is one of lying and obfuscation, developing secret facilities that are only discovered years later, and violating the promises it has made and the Security Council resolutions that are supposed to be binding.
It may well be that if this deal is done, a year or two or three down the road there will be evidence that Iran is cheating—and moving ever closer to a bomb. Our nation will then need to make a difficult decision about Iran policy, including consideration of possible military action. We ought to arrive at that moment, and that decision, as united as we can be, including the executive branch and the Congress.
As the old saying goes, if Congress is going to have a role in the crash landing, it should have a role in the takeoff. The Constitution grants it that role, and so does any sense of how our national security should be protected.