This is how one should respond to the recent deal with Iran. The deal isn’t an historic failure or an historic break through. It’s a a short term deal to start the comprehensive talks over the next six months. Diplomacy is a tango: there needs to be give and take, carrot and stick. Too much of one or the other and the deal falls through. Asking for reports to verify the deal is the smart move. You get to look like the sober statesman that isn’t always opposed to the tool of diplomacy instead of looking like a knee jerk reactionary or a chicken hawk (one of my new favorites thanks to Stephen Walt).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today sent a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez (D-Fla.) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) urging them to use existing authority to request a report from the Secretary of State on the verifiability of the administration’s recent nuclear agreement with Iran. The letter was signed by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and several other members of the Senate Intelligence, Armed Services and Banking Committees.
Current law states that the chairman or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may request a report from the Secretary of State on the verifiability of any arms control, nonproliferation, or disarmament proposal. The senators are urging that the committee request this report and make it available to the Senate Committees on Intelligence, Armed Services, and Banking, all of which maintain important oversight of this issue.
In the letter to Senators Menendez and Corker, the group of eight senators wrote, “Verification and compliance, as well as the fortitude to publicly identify and address non-compliance, represent the foundation of any successful arms control or disarmament agreement. We respectfully urge you to request this verification assessment from the Secretary of State and to make this report available to the Senate Committees on Intelligence, Armed Services, and Banking. Given Iran’s history of non-compliance, we believe this is not only a prudent step, but a sensible and necessary element of congressional oversight.”
In addition to Senators Chambliss and Inhofe, the letter was signed by Senators Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and David Vitter (R-La.).
Click here for a copy of the full letter.