Zeldin Co-Sponsors Two Resolutions To Thwart Iran Deal
Last week, U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin continued his effort to block a proposed Iran nuclear deal, co-sponsoring two resolutions in the House.
The first, the Pompeo-Zeldin resolution, co-sponsored by Mike Pompeo of Kansas, was approved on Thursday, September 10. The resolution aims to thwart the implementation of the Iran deal through the enforcement of the Iran Nuclear Review Act, which was approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
The Review Act is meant to ensure that Congress is provided with the entire nuclear agreement with Iran, including all of the side deals, before the clock starts ticking on its 60-day time window to review the agreement. So far, Congress has not been provided with the side agreements between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, which, according to the Review Act, is illegal.
Mr. Zeldin said recently that he and Mr. Pompeo are determined to hold President Obama accountable to the law through their resolution: “It is United States law that Congress will receive the entire agreement, and it is specified in that law that the agreement includes the side deals. It is spelled out in black and white.”
The overall issue that Mr. Zeldin and many other conservative Republicans are concerned with is President Obama’s repeated statement that the deal is not based on trust, but it is based on verification.
“The inspection and verification regime is not laid out in the JCPOA,” Mr. Zeldin said of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal. “It is laid out in the side deals between the IAEA and Iran, and the president has not yet seen those side deals.”
The resolution passed in the House by a vote of 245-186.
Another bill, the Roskam-Zeldin bill, aims to stop President Obama from lifting the sanctions on Iran until January 2017. The bill was introduced by Mr. Zeldin and Peter Roksam of Illinois on Wednesday night, and it passed in the House on Friday by a vote of 247 to 186.
“We cannot allow this president to negotiate away our leverage without any resolution on Iran’s continued efforts to overthrow foreign governments, finance terror, develop ICBMs, blow up mock U.S. warships, pledge to wipe Israel off the map, and chant ‘Death to America’ in their streets while unjustly imprisoning American citizens, including a Marine, a pastor and a reporter,” Mr. Zeldin said in a release last week.
However, despite Mr. Zeldin’s efforts to stop the Iran deal from passing, Senate Democrats last week made President Obama’s greatest foreign policy achievement victorious—they blocked a vote on, or filibustered, the Republican resolution to reject the deal. The procedural vote for the filibuster was 58-42, with the Republicans falling just two votes short of 60 needed to vote on the resolution.
Now, the Republicans will not get to vote on the deal, and the president will be able to implement it without the support of a single Republican.
Republicans say they are not discouraged. The party leadership has said it might bring President Obama to court, as they say he is breaking the law by not providing Congress the Iran nuclear deal in its entirety.