Freshman Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., found that President Barack Obama is already in direct violation of a law he just signed in late May regarding the Iran nuclear deal.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act specifically provides that Congress must receive “all nuclear agreement documents, including any related to agreements ‘entered into or made between Iran and any other parties.’ It expressly includes ‘side agreements.’ This requirement is not strictly limited to agreements to which the U.S. is a signatory,” Sen. Cotton and Rep. Mike Pompeo wrote in a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week.
Cotton and Pompeo recount that they traveled to Vienna a few weeks ago to meet with officials of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). There, they learned “that certain elements of this deal are—and will remain—secret.” They further discovered that those involved with the talks, including the Obama administration, specially allowed the IAEA and Iran to have two side deals.
The first has to do with the IAEA’s inspection of the controversial Parchin military complex. The site is a suspected location of Iran’s long range missile and nuclear development. The second side deal has to do with what the nation must reveal about its nuclear program to date.
The legislators argue that both are vital issues if the deal will have any chance of success. They also make clear that the administration has been inconsistent in its responses regarding the existence of these agreements and whether Congress will have access to review them.
The two sent a letter to the Obama administration requesting access to all relevant information, so the agreement can be adequately reviewed.
To ensure there is enough time for this review, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a resolution last Thursday calling for the clock to not start until all relevant “side deals” are made available to Congress, according to The Hill.
His resolution reads, in part:
The 60-calendar day period for review of such agreement in the Senate cannot be considered to have begun until the Majority Leader certifies that all of the materials required to be transmitted under the definition of the term ‘agreement’ under such Act, including any side agreements with Iran and United States Government-issued guidance materials in relation to Iran, have been transmitted to the Majority Leader.
Dan Calabrese, writing for CainTV, called into question the whole premise of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, noting it runs contrary to the Constitution. Congress has a way to approve treaties–and it is not by majority vote in both Houses, which the president can veto. “It’s called treaty ratification, and it requires two-thirds of the Senate. For congressional Republicans to give Obama an alternative [only requiring him to sustain a veto] to that is one of the most mind-blowingly stupid things I can ever remember them doing. And that’s saying something.”
Do you believe the Iranian nuclear deal should have to do through the normal treaty ratification process? Please leave your thoughts below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth