Now that both Houses of Congress are under the control of Republicans, will President Obama have as free a hand in making a deal with the Iranian mullahs regarding their nuclear weapons program?
Many members of Congress, in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle, believe that President Obama is willing to allow Iran to become a threshold nuclear weapons power, as long as they don’t actually develop a nuclear bomb during his watch. Israeli leaders, both in the majority and in opposition fear the same thing. Nobody wants to see a nuclear armed Iran, and few want to see a military attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, except as an absolute last resort. Everyone would like to see a good deal that assures the world that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons, and in return for that assurance ends the crippling sanctions against the Iranian people. The questions are what sort of a deal will bring us closer to this desirable outcome, and are the United States and its European allies demanding enough from Iran to assure compliance with a commitment not to weaponize its “civilian” program.
The newly elected Congress would like to play a role in addressing these questions, but the White House insists that the constitution empowers the executive branch alone—the president, his cabinet and his staff—to conduct the foreign policy of the United States. The White House is wrong.