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Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04)

The Nuclear Iran Deal that is at the epicenter of a Congressional battle and the focus of so much attention for months is not actually any deal at all, as not one of the parties, including any representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has signed the Agreement.

This morning, Sept. 18, Cong. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In that letter Pompeo informed the Secretary that while reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Nuclear Iran Deal), he noted that there are no signatures on the so-called final Agreement.


Without signatures, there can be no legally binding contract.

There apparently is no “Iran Deal.”

Pompeo asked Kerry to provide a copy of the JCPOA with signatures and signing authority, so that members of Congress and the rest of the American people know that the parties to the agreement have “confirm[ed] each country’s commitment to the agreement” and that “makes clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.”

International affairs scholar and Iran expert Michael Ledeen pointed out more than two months ago that Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini would not allow his country to sign the JCPOA. Ledeen’s point then, and today, is that the desperation exhibited by the Obama administration made clear to the Iranian leader that “there is no reason for him to approve a hated deal with the devil. It’s much better to keep talking until all the sanctions are gone, and Iran’s ‘right’ to pursue its nuclear projects is fully recognized.”

It appears that Ledeen’s prediction was dead-on. If there is no signed agreement, even the feeble conditions placed on Iran by Team Kerry’s negotiators are unenforceable.

When asked what then, is the current status of the JCPOA, assuming the administration did not just, oh, forget to distribute to Congress the signed version, Ledeen told the “It’s a verbal agreement. It means the diplomats meeting in Vienna thought it was a good agreement, but that is all. It is not enforceable.”

Ledeen said he could not think of any other major international agreement, certainly not any of the portentous nature of the Iran Deal, where lawmakers moved forward to begin implementation without having a signed agreement in place.

“Anyone who has read in the media that the ‘Iran Deal’ was signed has to now know they were lied to, it has not happened.”

So what next?

Congress could, conceivably, pass a law forbidding the lifting of sanctions. That’s been tried, you say? True, but will the same members of Congress who support the deal, the same ones who never read significant portions of the deal, and who had those portions explained to them by people who themselves never read the deal are willing to once again vote against or even bar a vote on a stay on the lifting of sanctions when they know there is nothing preventing Tehran from violating any of the purportedly agreed-to conditions? Will they really?

Cong. Pompeo’s letter to Secretary Kerry follows:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I have reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Islamic Republic of Iran – or at least the parts of the agreement that were provided to Congress by the administration.  As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress.  I look forward to seeing the entire agreement – including the two secret side deals that are part of the JCPOA – so that Congress may continue to evaluate the JCPOA and, depending on the outcome of the vote under the relevant provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, potentially end the current and continuing prohibition of the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

During that review, I found that the copies provided to Congress of the JCPOA are not signed by any of the P5+1 members nor by Iran.  Having never seen an international agreement of this magnitude not signed by the parties or an agent of the parties, I assume this is simply an oversight or an administrative error.  That is, Congress must not have the final version of the agreement that would necessarily be signed.  I request that you provide us with copies of a final, executed copy of the JCPOA.  In the event that the JCPOA has not yet been signed by the parties, please inform us (a) when signatures will be placed on the agreement, (b) what parties will be signing, and (c) which person you anticipate will sign on behalf of each of those parties, including on behalf of the United States.

I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants.  I can find no international agreement of this “historic” nature that was not signed by the parties.  Each of the past five major nuclear agreements to which the U.S. is a party – SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II and the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – were signed by representatives of each nation that was party to the agreement.  This is not a mere formality.  Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing.

A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.  In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.

This is particularly important with respect to JCPOA.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government.  It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it.  Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”

Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement.  I also believe that the United States and its P5+1 partners on the JCPOA should execute the agreement on behalf of their countries.  I look forward to your response.

We all do.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. The Corker Bill requires the President to: “determine whether the President is able to certify that” (pg.12, lines 1-5) … “Iran has not taken any [new] action including covert action, that
    could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program.” (pg.12, lines 15-18).

    How can the President certify that Iran lacks covert nuclear weapons programs if Iran refuses anytime, anywhere inspections at sites it deems to be “military?” Because the Iran Deal flunks this test Congress may not proceed to vote on it under the Corker Bill's procedures.

    Additionally, the Corker Bill requires the President to give Congress the: “text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes;” (pg. 2, lines 17-18), thereafter starting a
    sixty-day Congressional pre-vote review. The review period may not start while any related materials and annexes remain secret.

    Because the Iran Deal flunks the anywhere, anytime inspection requirement, and because the review period has not yet started, Congress may not vote on the Iran Deal under the Corker Bill.

    This means that voting to approve the Iran Deal violates your oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the Federal laws, one of which is the Corker Bill. The Corker Bill requires a
    “no” vote because Iran rejects anywhere, anytime inspections, opening the door to covert nuclear actions. Similarly, all Congressmen must vote “no” because Obama has not given Congress the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes as required.

  2. On this Shabot of the High Holidays if Elul 5775 – Tishrei 5776: ………………ASK THE RABBI: A ‘Sacred Place’- must mean by definition: ‘belonging to G-d’- which means it cannot belong to any man or nation or be of any man or nation. No man and no nation can own, what belongs to G-d. If they do, the site is no longer sacred. Only the one G-D is sacred, and only what belongs to the one G-d can be sacred. men/women and what identities belongs to men/women are not sacred, and, nations and what belongs to nations is not ‘scared’. Only the one G-d is ‘sacred’. QUESTION: What does the Torah say about existence and definitions Scared Spaces?
    ASK THE RABBI: Which section of the Torah is older: The section that guides the meaning and method of how to make a Tallet (including how to tie a tzitzit), or the section that guides the methods and meanings of Bar Mitsvha?..
    ASK THE RABBI Is Rua’ch’ Ha-Kodesh, the same as ‘Shamanism’ or ‘Holy Spirit’ or ‘Holy Ghost’ or what-ever the Muslim word for the same phenomenon, by any other name?
    ASK THE RABBI : …would it be true that the Deuteronomists contribute to their own blessings and to their own misfortunes, even through the blessings they pray thankfulness for? (such as ‘the rain’ or ‘ancestors’)……
    ASK THE PM: Should the United States claim ‘the Israeli Poverty Strategy’ as a failure, as well as reward nations that promote ‘cosmopolitanism’ in the middle-east? Should Gaza be claimed as ‘Third World’? Should Gaza be accused of being a ‘welfare state’?
    THESE ARE THE WORDS: *’Ruah ha-Kodesh….. ‘Rahamim’…….el yad gvirtah ken eineinu el Adonai Eloheinu ad sheyechanenu: (from Psalm 123,2). ‘G-d, love and defend my nation.’ and ‘I am only defending myself.’ are opposites that BOTH Sides and ALL Sides engage in. It’s not one side doing one and the other side doing the other, — it’s both sides using both, before the ONE G-D that created both and all.

  3. Since Obama did not submit the agreement as a full-fledged treaty and just an administrative action (remember the Congressional review and vote was not required until the compromise legislation by Cardin and Corker) the incoming president can simply overturn it. Unlike Obamacare which was legislation passed by Congress, the nuke agreement isn't so all of this moving of chess pieces and Plan B’s will largely be irrelevant anyway when the new president comes in and decides what he/she wants to do with our allies about Iran, assuming of course Iran takes the next two years to continue on its path of proxy wars and cozies up to Putin and the Russians.

  4. there never was a deal or an agreement or anything. it’s nothing. this nutcase in the WH just wanted to give them their billions of dollars so they could kill Jews. it’s not about anything else. there’s no contract with iran social or otherwise. he’s sick and there’s something horribly wrong with his thinkiing and worse for those congresspeople to actually confirm his delusions and his derangements that put the american people in harm’s way is unconscionable.

  5. CNN reported that the deal would not be signed:
    "U.S.: Text of Iran nuclear deal will be made public but not signed"

    The Corer-Cardin Amendment to H.R. 1191 specifically states that ALL documents must be presented to Congress within 5 days of signing, but if it is not signed and since all documents have not been turned over to Congress (the secret deals that Obama-Kerry claim they don't have)
    How can an unsigned agreement have any validity, and more to the point, how can an unsigned document be grounds for compliance with it and turning over the billions of dollars required by the "agreement"?

  6. I believe it is clear at this point that Iran refuses to have any limitations placed on them with regard to nuclear negotiations. Sanctions might slow Iran's progress but it won't stop it. They will forge ahead until they attain their objectives. A military strike is really the only viable option here and without one they know they are free to do whatever they want. The present United States administration won't make a pre-emptive strike against Iran but Israel will be bribed not to do it. If Iran should launch a nuclear tipped missile at Israel it would only take about 30 minutes or less to reach Israel. Would the U.S. be prepared to make a counter strike against Iran at that moment? Hardly. So how much will that bribe be worth to Israel?

  7. Why is every body so surprised. Every thing he has done hurts are Country.I am scared. Somthing has to be done. He threatens Isreal, allowed IsIs to attack Iraq rape and Kill after we spiiled our blood for there freedom. God Bless all freedom loveing Isrealys.

  8. Could you please provide a link to the page of signatures for the deal(s)? You obviously must have seen it, by your comment. I. for one, have not.

    Remember, Iran's only goal is the lifting of the sanctions, so they can proceed with nuking Israel, for starters.

  9. Howie Mirkin No politicians pay concequences for their treachery. Look at the massive amount of politicians that have done corrupt bull and have never been prosecuted. The vast majority of politicians on BOTH sides are corrupt greedy s who couldn't give a about you or anyone else that isn't filling their pockets with cash. So call out politicians for being traitors, I take no issue with that, but call them all out.

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