Kirsters Baish| Former President Barack Obama never told the American public the details about his infamous Nuclear Deal with Iran. Democrats have been all over President Trump since he announced his decision to pull out of the deal this past Tuesday.
Back in 2015, when the deal was first introduced, the majority of the Senate actually opposed it. Republicans needed 60 votes to move on with the resolution opposing the deal, but they didn’t get it. You may be wondering why things are suddenly changing now. They were 42 Democrat votes short to block consideration of the deal.
In September of 2015, the House voted against the deal 269-162. Twenty-five Democrats were in opposition to the deal.
So, the real question is why did the House vote on Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal when Iranian officials didn’t even sign it?
The National Review reported on November 25, 2015 that Obama did not require Iranian leaders to sign the agreement which was negotiated between his administration and the Iranian regime. The deal was said to not be “legally binding” in a letter from the Obama administration to Representative Mike Pompeo.
The State Department Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, Julia Frifield, stated in the letter, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.”
The letter was written by Frifield in response to a letter sent by Pompeo to Secretary of State at the time, John Kerry. In the letter, Pompeo acknowledged that the deal that Obama had presented to Congress was not signed. He questioned if the Obama administration had even presented lawmakers with the finished deal.
Frifield’s response shows that Congress had received the final version of the agreement, however by labeling the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” instead of a formal agreement, Iran would technically be able to violate the terms of the deal… they never signed it after all.
Frifield wrote in the letter to Pompeo, “The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.”
On Saturday, President Hassan Rowhani explained that he is against a parliamentary vote on the nuclear deal with world leaders, as terms of the agreement would then be legally binding if it were passed by lawmakers.
He explained during a news conference that the deal was simply a political understanding that five entities of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. He emphasized that it was not a pact that required parliamentary approval. He also explained that Iran would be able to follow through with terms of the deal on a voluntary basis, as nothing was signed.
The historic deal calls for limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
“If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government. it will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it,” Rowhani said. “Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”
Pompeo cited that comment in his letter to Kerry, but Frifield did not explicitly address it in her reply. “This is not a mere formality,” Pompeo wrote in his September 19 letter. “Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing. A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement. In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.”
Take a look at the letter the State Department sent to Mike Pompeo: