Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Congress’ Role in Preventing a Nuclear Iran: Enforcer of Deal, Not Spoiler
Press Release

RELEASE: Congress’ Role in Preventing a Nuclear Iran: Enforcer of Deal, Not Spoiler

Washington, D.C. — With some members of Congress forcibly and indelicately inserting themselves into high-stakes negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, the question of Congress’ role in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons has been raised. A column released by the Center for American Progress today argues that Congress should have a role in this effort but should act as an enforcer for an agreement and not the wedge that threatens to undermine the negotiations as it has been.

“Congress’ role should be that of enforcer, not spoiler, in this agreement—standing by ready to enforce the terms of a strong agreement, not attempting to hijack and derail the negotiations themselves,” said Ken Sofer, Associate Director for National Security and International Policy and author of the column. “Current efforts by members of Congress to undermine the president’s ability to negotiate a strong and effective agreement with Iran will undoubtedly have the opposite effect. A more constructive role is available to members of Congress, and it is important to the lasting effectiveness of the agreement that they seize it.”

The column argues that efforts such as the letter sent to Iranian leadership by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and signed by 46 other members of the Senate attempting to cast doubt as to whether any agreement would be upheld by the U.S. government diminish the ability of the United States and its allies to present a united front. It argues that until some members of Congress cease to view the president as the adversary in these negotiations and instead take on their role as an enforcer of the agreement, a strong and lasting agreement with Iran will be that much harder to come by.

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.

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