The president will insult Congress if he takes the Iran deal to the U.N. Security Council first.
According to news reports, the Obama administration is currently circulating a draft United Nations Security Council resolution to implement the commitments agreed to under the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The expectation among other Security Council member states is that the U.S. will seek a vote on the resolution in the Security Council in the near term before Congress has had an opportunity to review and act on the agreement as outlined in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 states the during the review period, the “President may not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to Iran under any provision of law or refrain from applying any such sanctions.”
U.N. Security Council sanctions are not U.S. statutory sanctions, but the clear intent of the legislation is to prevent any sanctions relief until Congress has reviewed the deal.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, states that it will result in the “comprehensive lifting of all U.N. Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme” and that “[p]romptly after the conclusion of the negotiations of this JCPOA, the proposed U.N. Security Council resolution referred to in Section 18 of this Annex will be submitted to the U.N. Security Council for adoption without delay.”
No doubt the Obama administration justifies its haste on these provisions of the JCPOA. But “promptly” and “without delay” do not necessarily mean immediately.
Indeed, all negotiating parties are aware of the Obama administration’s commitment to give Congress time to review the deal. It is reasonable to argue that promptly means immediately after the procedures outlined in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 are complete.