Iran

Sanctions Expert: Proposed House Iran Legislation “Gold Standard” for Fixing Nuke Deal

A leading legislative architect of previous sanctions against Iran has described the proposed Congressional legislation as the “gold standard” in fixing the weaknesses in the nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump demanded last week, Axios reported on Thursday.

Richard Goldberg, a onetime aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R –  Ill.), said of the proposed legislation authored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R – Ill.), “The Roskam legislation is the gold standard for how to fix the Iran deal when it comes to ballistic missiles. The UN Security Council called on Iran to halt any activity related to nuclear capable ballistic missiles — and this legislation mandates a snapback of all our toughest sanctions if Iran violates that Security Council directive.”

While it is expected that most Democrats and some Republicans will object to the proposed legislation, Axios described the Roskam bill as the “last chance” for Congress to prevent Trump from leaving the deal unilaterally.

The proposed legislation addressed a number of weaknesses that Trump identified last week as needing to be strengthened: a complete ban on Iran’s ballistic missile development, permanently keeping Iran’s breakout time for a nuclear weapon at a year or more, insisting on “anytime, anywhere” inspections to avoid Iran blocking access to its military sites, and imposing more sanctions on Iran for its terror support and human rights abuses.

Keeping Iran’s breakout time to being at least a year addresses the problem of “sunset clauses,” which would allow the Islamic Republic to legally have an industrial nuclear enrichment program by the end of the deal. In April 2015, President Barack Obama acknowledged that according to its terms Iran’s breakout time would be “near zero” by the end of the deal.

Tehran’s refusal to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into military sites prompted IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano to acknowledge last year that his agency did not have the required “tools” to determine with certainty that Iran was abiding by all terms of the deal.

[Photo: soccerdhg / Flickr]