Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
US President Barack Obama speaks on the negotiations with Iran.

Reactions to the letter by Republican senators to Iran that a deal on its nuclear deal could require Congressional approval have exposed the Obama administration as possibly being involved in international moves to make an agreement binding through the United Nations.

The United States and other world powers have been secretly talking about going to the U.N. Security Council to lift U.N. sanctions if the P5+1 powers strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Advertisement

The possibility of a Security Council resolution being considered legally binding would make the Obama administration’s statement to the contrary look ridiculous.

The open letter to Iran from the senators underlined what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and told Congress – that a deal would not be binding on future presidents.

“If there’s a nuclear deal, and that’s still a big ‘if’, we’ll want to move quickly on the U.N. sanctions issue,” an unnamed official told Reuters.

“There is an interesting question about whether, if the Security Council endorses the deal, that stops Congress undermining the deal,” the news agency quoted a Western diplomat as saying.

Iran was quick to pick up the thread,

Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, who apparently is far from critically ill or and certainly not dead, as reported last week, scoffed at the threat in the letter that Congress could alter any possible nuclear deal between the US administration and Iran. He said:

According to international norms, governments are bound to their commitments and those rules cannot be breached with the change of governments.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is also the country’s top negotiator in talks with powers, mocked the United States for acting as if it is equal to the world and stated:

I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law…..

I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law….

Congress may not ‘modify the terms of the agreement at any time’ as they claim, and if Congress adopts any measure to impede its implementation, it will have committed a material breach of the US obligations.

Omri Ceren, press director for The Israel Project, stated, “The letter forced the administration to explain why they’re icing Congress out of Iran negotiations, and now that explanation has ignited a firestorm.

“The administration looks like it intentionally chose a weaker, non-binding arrangement, rather than a treaty, to avoid Senate oversight.”

 

Advertisement

17 COMMENTS

  1. 95% of US international agreements are Presidential and not treaties requiring Senate advice and consent. Nor is it a secret that other nations are involved in the negotiations, including Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — the five permanent members of the Security Council — plus Germany and Iran. IF a future President rejected this agreement, it would be a violation of international law.

    This would undermine US ability to conduct diplomacy by reducing trust in its commitments based on domestic, partisan motives. Undermining the ability of the US to conduct diplomacy would be a serious and dangerous mistake, if not treason. It certainly is illegal, under the Logan Act.

  2. Would the agreement be legally binding: it would under international law, and as for domestic law, "“They don’t have the right to modify an agreement reached, executive to executive, between countries—between leaders of a country,” Mr. Kerry said.

    So the claim is that the agreement (without knowing exactly what is in it at this point) is not legally binding but that it could not be modified leaves a large blur. What is not blurred is the intent of the letter to influence a foreign government, a clear violation of the Logan Act, an impeachable high crime. Is the Logan Act legally binding?: absolutely.

  3. Dale : what if the circunstances change,are you aware ,of that? since darwin's evolution scientific laws circunstances change every day in particular with monkeys such as iranians! therefore the agreements change too LEGALLY.

  4. David : you are right and there manby more reasons to cancel such a stupid agreement whaever it is. We do not need to know the terms suffice to know it would enable iran become sooner or later a nuclear power whic is not of interest to the entire world!

  5. united states law trumps international law, that was decided by the supreme court. the only action that is meaningful is removing this anti semitic muslim crackpot from office as quickly as possible so that he and his sycophants can be swept out. then we can fumigate.

  6. When will our Congress deal with the illegal position of Obama? In 2007, he talked about his birth in Kenya, and his grandmother boasted of holding him after he was born. Now, something strange; and these two items are from Obama, himself. He claims he was born in Hawaii; then when he signed up for college, he did so as a foreign student. Now, if born in Hawaii, you are an American; if a foreign student, how can he claim Hawaii birth? So any government action is basically illegal, and void by his not being President – LEGALLY> So Congress…?

  7. People speak about ISIS and call them extremists: with knives, cars, swords, hatchets and rifles.
    And I want to ask: if you call Islamic State extremists, what do you call the Islamic Republic of Iran possessing nuclear bomb?

Comments are closed.

Loading Facebook Comments ...