web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Iran Sanctions Legislation: The Waiver’s The Thing

Despite the interim agreement between Iran and several world powers, which provides for a softening of sanctions in return for a curtailment of elements of the Iranian nuclear development program, many members of Congress have resisted calls from the White House to defer legislation that would impose increased sanctions on Iran should a satisfactory final agreement not be reached or the Iranians fail to adhere to the temporary deal.

But it is not just the passage of legislation authorizing a new round of sanctions that is needed. Rather it is legislation without the presidential waiver provisions that presidents in general, and President Obama in particular, regularly exploit.

The Obama administration has said that any new legislation, even with an operative date of six months up the road as some lawmakers are proposing, would likely scuttle any further talks with Iran. Indeed, Iran’s foreign minister has said “the entire deal is dead” in that eventuality.

In our view, though, Iran is not in a position to demand anything, and the prospect of increased sanctions should be placed vividly before its leaders. Nor should it be forgotten that it was the sanctions regime plus the threat of military action from the U.S. and Israel that brought Iran to the table in the first place.

To be sure, Secretary of State Kerry does make an additional point that has more resonance:

The risk is that if Congress were to unilaterally move to raise sanctions it could break faith in those negotiations and actually stop them and break them apart…. Germany, Great Britain, France…and Russia, China and the United States are all agreed on [the interim] proposal that’s on the table. If all of a sudden sanctions were to be increased, there are members of that coalition who have put it in place who would think that we are dealing in bad faith, and they would bolt. And then the sanctions would fall apart.

Ironically, however, it is the triumphalist tone adopted by Iranian leaders that likely will keep the coalition intact. No one relishes having his nose rubbed in the sand. And Mr. Kerry does himself no favors by appearing to downplay the well-grounded concerns of many lawmakers, especially when seen against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s continuing efforts at outreach to traditional adversaries of the U.S.

If history is any guide, an eventual compromise on legislation aimed at addressing Iranian recalcitrance will contain a clause that will effectively allow the president to determine whether Iranian compliance has been satisfactory. And history has also taught us that such provisions often vitiate the Congressional will and should be carefully considered.

An important example is the use of the so-called waiver power by three presidents in connection with the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995, passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. Under its express terms, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv had to be moved to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999, with severe restrictions on the State Department’s overseas expenditures should it not be moved.

However, it also provided that the president could avoid these restrictions if he determined, at six-month intervals, that the restrictions would adversely affect American security interests around the world. But the obligation to move the embassy would continue, despite the penalty for non-compliance having been waived.

Yet Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, like President Obama, regularly took the position that they were empowered to refuse to move the embassy by simply asserting every six months that national security would be jeopardized by the restrictions on State Department spending, a power nowhere to be found in the law.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Iran Sanctions Legislation: The Waiver’s The Thing”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.
Bibi on Iran Deal: ‘We Aren’t Partners at the Table, We Are a Meal on the Menu’ [VIDEO]
Latest Indepth Stories
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 were likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

More Articles from Editorial Board

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/iran-sanctions-legislation-the-waivers-the-thing/2013/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: