Expert on Iran Deal: Congress Has Demanded Changes to Hundreds of Treaties Before
That Congress could challenge the Obama administration and demand the U.S. renegotiate certain provisions in the Iran nuclear deal is not without precedent, an op-ed by an Arizona State University law professor argued in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Prof. Orde Kittrie challenged Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that a congressional vote against the deal is inconsistent with the “traditional relationship” between legislature and the executive branch, which is ready to see the Iran deal adopted and implemented.
Congress has flatly rejected international treaties struck by the executive branch at least 130 times in U.S. history, 22 treaties were voted down, and 108 other treaties were blocked because the Senate refused to vote on them. Additionally, hundreds of treaties were modified upon the Senate’s demands.
For example, a treaty between the Obama administration and the United Arab Emirates over the Gulf country’s nuclear energy program was sent back for revisions after some in Congress said the agreement did not have sufficient provisions to prevent the U.A.E. from traveling down the same path as Iran toward fuel reprocessing and suspicious enrichment activities.
Kittrie wrote that based on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which President Obama signed in May, Congress can pass a resolution of disapproval or separate legislation that could outline what changes Congress deems necessary to accept the deal.
Officials in the Obama administration meanwhile have said that the president could use executive authority to stop “many U.S. sanctions on Iran” if Congress moves to thwart the deal in its current iteration, reported Politico.