Congress Should Insist on Its Say in Any Iran Deal

March 18 2015

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.

Read more at New York Daily News

More about: Barack Obama, Constitution, Iran, Iranian nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy


President Biden Should Learn the Lessons of Past U.S. Attempts to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Sept. 21 2023

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Joe Biden addressed a host of international issues, mentioning, inter alia, the “positive and practical impacts” resulting from “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors.” He then added that the U.S. will “continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples.” Zach Kessel experiences some déjà vu:

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and review how past U.S.-brokered talks between Jerusalem and [Palestinian leaders] have gone down, starting with 1991’s Madrid Conference, organized by then-President George H.W. Bush. . . . Though the talks, which continued through the next year, didn’t get anywhere concrete, many U.S. officials and observers across the world were heartened by the fact that Madrid was the first time representatives of both sides had met face to face. And then Palestinian militants carried out the first suicide bombing in the history of the conflict.

Then, in 1993, Bill Clinton tried his hand with the Oslo Accords:

In the period of time directly after the Oslo Accords . . . suicide bombings on buses and in crowded public spaces became par for the course. Clinton invited then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to Camp David in 2000, hoping finally to put the conflict to rest. Arafat, who quite clearly aimed to extract as many concessions as possible from the Israelis without ever intending to agree to any deal—without even putting a counteroffer on the table—scuttled any possibility of peace. Of course, that’s not the most consequential event for the conflict that occurred in 2000. Soon after the Camp David Summit fell apart, the second intifada began.

Since Clinton, each U.S. president has entered office hoping to put together the puzzle that is an outcome acceptable to both sides, and each has failed. . . . Every time a deal has seemed to have legs, something happens—usually terrorist violence—and potential bargains are scrapped. What, then, makes Biden think this time will be any different?

Read more at National Review

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Joe Biden, Palestinian terror, Peace Process