Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal Restricts U.S. lawmakers More Than Congress Knew.

Iran Nuclear Deal Restricts U.S. lawmakers More Than Congress Knew. (BloomBerg).

Members of Congress knew the Iran nuclear deal came with strings attached. They just didn't know how many.

When the administration presented the agreement to Congress, lawmakers were told that new sanctions on Iran would violate the deal. Now the administration is trying to sidestep a recently passed provision to tighten rules on visas for those who have visited Iran.

U.S. officials confirmed over the weekend that Secretary of State John Kerry sent his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, a letter promising to use executive powers to waive the new restrictions on those who have visited Iran but are citizens of countries in the Visa Waiver Program.

These officials also told us that they have told Iranian diplomats that, because they are not specific to Iran, the new visa waiver provisions do not violate the detailed sequence of steps Iran and other countries committed to taking as part of the agreement. Even so, the State Department is promising to sidestep the new rule.

"If the United States Congress cannot implement a more secure visa procedure for those who travel to state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, then the Iran deal ties the hands of lawmakers to a greater extent than even deal critics feared," Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert in Iran sanctions, told us. Hmmm.....'High crimes and misdemeanors'. Read the full story here.

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