WASHINGTON, D.C.–What is being called an historic deal with Iran over its nuclear programs was reached this week after meetings overseas. The Obama administration is calling it a success and promises strict inspections. Mississippi’s Congressional delegation has expressed skepticism and believes Congress should have oversight.
“Iran cannot be allowed to gain nuclear weapons capabilities, and I am skeptical whether the agreement reached by the Obama administration is truly verifiable and enforceable. Congress must cast a critical eye on this deal to ensure that it does not reward a nation that actively sponsors terrorism. I look forward to carefully examining the agreement to ensure that it protects our national security interests and our allies,” said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), in a statement.
Cochran in May supported passage of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which expands congressional oversight of the Iran nuclear deal.
“I remain skeptical that the Iranian regime will cooperate with international inspectors and live up to its obligations. History has taught us that Iran does not make good on its word, going to great lengths to cover up and deceive the world about its nuclear ambitions and ballistic capabilities,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“This deal is not yet final. Congress and the American people now have the opportunity to review the agreement. Ultimately, preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon should be our top priority. I am deeply concerned that this arrangement does not achieve that vital national security goal.”
The “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015” requires the President to submit all of the details of the agreement to Congress for review and ensures Congress will have a vote.
Since the deal was completed after July 9, there is a 60-day review period. That clock does not start until all documents associated with the agreement are submitted to Congress along with assessments on compliance and non-proliferation.
Twelve additional days are provided if the House and Senate send a joint resolution to the president, and 10 more days are allowed for Congress to override a presidential veto.
There was no statement from Rep. Bennie Thompson, top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.
“After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, I said that America and Israel should have a shared goal to do whatever is necessary to prevent the threats we face from Iran and radical Islam. Instead of making the world less dangerous, this ‘deal’ emboldens Iran – the world’s largest sponsor of terror – by helping stabilize and legitimize its regime as it spreads even more violence and instability in the region. I believe that instead of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, this deal is likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world. The House of Representatives will review every detail of this agreement very closely, but I won’t support any agreement that jeopardizes the safety of the American people and all who value freedom and security,” said Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.).