Facing a November 24 deadline, the Obama administration is rushing to reach a final agreement surrendering to Iran in the P5+1 talks. Jennifer Rubin takes a look at recent reports and finds that the Obama administration is “Chasing a bad deal with Iran.” This shouldn’t be news; it’s implicit in the terms of the interim deal that we proclaimed as a famous victory late last year. But the desperation reflected in our current offer to the mullahs is worth noting.
Will the need to submit a final agreement for ratification by the United States Senate act as a damper on the concessions Obama is willing to make to the mullahs? There is a reason why this eventuality is never accounted for in reports on the ongoing negotiations. I believe the answer is negatory. The Wall Street Journal recently noted, for example:
Under the Constitution, the Senate is obliged to ratify formal treaties with other nations by a two-thirds majority vote. But the Iran deal would be a multiparty agreement, rather than a treaty, and thus doesn’t require Senate ratification. Most sanctions on Iran can also be lifted by executive order.
As for the sanctions relief that would accompany the surrender, see also “Obama sees an Iran deal that could avoid Congress” by David Sanger in the New York Times and also “On Iran: Congress, please step aside” by Navid Hassibi in The National Interest.
Although Sanger is focused on sanctions relief, consistent with the Journal editorial he observes in passing that an “agreement between Iran and the countries it is negotiating with — the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — would not be a formal treaty, and thus would not require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.” I don’t know if the revolution will not be televised, but the surrender will not be ratified. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, because Obama is working harder to obviate the need for congressional approval than to resist Iran so that he can play with with something like a free hand.