Board Member Richard Klass Published Article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Senate Bill Threat

Klass: Senate bill will kill framework

April 12, 2015

By Richard L. Klass

Read the full article on the Richmond-Times Dispatch

Now that the United States, its international partners and Iran finally agreed on a framework for a final nuclear deal, one of the biggest hurdles facing its implementation is a bill in Congress — supported by Virginia’s senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats — that carries a high risk of derailing this historic opportunity of peacefully limiting Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.

The measure, championed by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), would delay implementation of the agreement — the details of which are expected to be finalized by June 30 — for 60 days and allows for a congressional vote of approval.

Congressional involvement in the final deal is a legitimate concern. The question is not whether but when, how and for what purpose. Congress has played an important role in shepherding this process by implementing tough sanctions that helped bring the Iranians to the negotiating table. And it will play an important role as implementation goes forward, since it must approve any permanent lifting of those sanctions.

But the Corker bill is not the way for Congress to most constructively insert itself into an ongoing negotiation. Republicans control both the House and Senate and some of them, along with a handful of Democrats, strongly oppose this still-not-finalized deal and aren’t keen on giving President Obama a policy victory on anything. There’s no question they’ll vote this deal down, regardless of its content or merit.