On Thursday, September 10, 2015, U.S. Senate Democrats cleared a hurdle for the proposed Iran nuclear agreement by blocking a Senate resolution that would have rejected the deal. The result, in which Senate Republicans mustered 58 of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, cleared a major hurdle on the way to implementing the historic agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. As we reported here on July 14, 2015, the United States and the international community agreed in the JCPOA to lift certain sanctions in exchange for Iran’s ceasing its nuclear weapon program. The agreement is the result of negotiations among Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the UK, China, France, Russia, and the EU). The U.S. Congress was given 60 days to debate the agreement, but President Obama has promised to veto any resolution rejecting the agreement. Now that the Senate resolution has failed, the U.S. House of Representatives is pursuing more creative options, including a potential lawsuit against the President, according to the Washington Post.
Continue Reading Iran Nuclear Deal Clears Senate Obstacle, But Will “Snap-Back” Bite?

Today, President Obama announced a landmark agreement with Iran designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting sanctions that have retarded the country’s development for the decades since the revolution. The agreement is the result of 20 tough months of negotiations among Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the UK, China, France, Russia, and the EU). As far as we are aware, this is the first time in over forty years that nonproliferation diplomacy has resulted in an enforceable agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. The last four entrants to the nuclear club (India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea) were not likewise persuaded to cease their development of nuclear weapons. Their nuclear detonation tests in 1974, 1979, 1998, and 2006 respectively signaled the end of negotiations in each case.
Continue Reading A Break From the Past: Historic Deal with Iran Marks A New Day in U.S.-Iran Relations