The United States and its negotiating partners—known collectively as the P5+1—are just days away from a potential agreement to halt Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. This is a critical moment that could peacefully resolve one of the most vexing national security threats the United States has faced over the past two decades. On such a critically important national security issue, the president must lead. Congress should also continue to play a role, but it must be a constructive one.
Iran came to the negotiating table because President Barack Obama and Congress worked together to impose some of the most restrictive and effective economic sanctions the world has ever seen, such as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. President Obama simultaneously assembled an international coalition—including Russia, China, and some of Iran’s biggest customers, such as India and Japan—to stand united against Iran’s nuclear program, multiplying the power of sanctions and isolating Iran diplomatically.
Getting from the negotiating table to a lasting agreement will require an equal demonstration of executive-legislative cooperation.
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