The Obama administration has announced that they are going to ignore Congress when it comes to a treaty with Iran. The Constitution (remember what that was) requires that treaties negotiated by the President be submitted to the Senate for “advice and consent” that is to say approval and it takes a 2/3rds vote of the Congress to approve a treaty. That is the constitutional setup of the Republic of the United States of America.
So on Monday October 20, 2014, with a straight face the New York Times, without any call for treason or impeachment or anything, came this notion that it’s okay the Obama administration is going to consider its most important foreign-policy deal of the presidency a treaty with Iran, which basically would limit his ability to make nuclear weapons in response to suspending the economic sanctions that have drastically cut revenue to that country.
Now how do they expect to get around the Constitution? Well, it will be a temporary suspension of the sanctions and there is in the Congress Iranian sanctions legislation the ability for the president to temporarily, as a result of negotiations, suspend the sanctions. Then the suspension and the inspections and the number of centrifuges that would be allowed to continue spinning and all the rest of that would be subject to inspections by the United Nations. So the deal wouldn’t just be with the United States, so therefore it’s not really a treaty at all.
The Senate has no role whatsoever. Senator Robert Menendez (Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) said, “If a potential deal does not substantially and effectively dismantle Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, I expect Congress will respond. An agreement cannot allow Iran to be a threshold nuclear state.” What Obama wants to do, by the way however he can, is to recognize Iran as a nuclear power in contradiction to everything the United States has stood for. And for a very good reason, you can’t have these crazy people have a nuclear weapon. Seriously, how many crazy people can we have with a nuclear weapon in the world today? Therefore, Obama and his minions came up with the idea that we would have a kind of executive agreement. This is anathema to anyone who respects the Constitution. But on a practical level, the Ayatollah is dead set against a treaty – he has said there is not going to be any agreement where Iran is constrained from developing nuclear weapons. If that is his position, then what are we bargaining for. The sanctions continue to limit the country’s ability to do anything. The sanctions are hurting specifically the elite in the country, because we shut down their banking relationship with Western banks. So the Iranian National Guard and the Ayatollah have issued repeatedly, specific benchmarks they are going to agree to. The Ayatollah has said he wanted to increase the current enrichment program by tenfold or 1,000% on a number of occasions. That’s the reason Congress is involved in treaty ratification, because the founders said no you can’t trust one person even if it is the president with the idea to negotiate with foreign governments.
These rug merchants, the Iranians have been out negotiating with people for 5000 years. Certainly a Chicago street hustler is not going to be any match for these people. This is their culture, it is there DNA to take you to the cleaners. The president is saying arrogantly he is going to do it and it will be his foreign policy achievement of his administration.