Defend Diplomacy, Save the Iran Deal
In 2015, the P5+1, including United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, France and Germany, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal. In the spring and summer of 2015, there was a heated campaign between war hawks and proponents of diplomacy to convince the Senate not to pass a resolution of disapproval that would have prohibited the U.S. from holding up its end of the deal. In a victory for diplomacy and grassroots action, the resolution and amendments that would have stymied the deal were defeated.
Jewish Voice for Peace participated in the campaign to choose diplomacy over war, alongside many other progressive organizations. Through meetings with Members of Congress, town-halls, protests, op-eds, letters to the editor, e-mails, and phone calls, JVP’s grassroots organizing, advocacy and strategic communications capacity played a crucial role in a historic victory for diplomacy. Here are more details about our role in the successful campaign to save the Iran Deal.
What is happening now?
A law passed by Congress, called the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) requires that every 90 days, the president must certify to Congress that Iran is in compliance and that the deal is in the U.S. national interest. Trump has already certified the deal twice, reluctantly, but he is widely expected to decertify the deal by the October 15th deadline.
What does that mean?
Not certifying the deal won’t kill it directly, but it does kick-off a 60-day window during which Congress can act on a fast-track procedure to re-impose nuclear sanctions on Iran. This means that Republicans would only need a simple majority (51 votes) to re-impose sanctions and Democrats could not filibuster to block the measure. If Congress re-imposes sanctions, the U.S. would violate our end of the deal.
Trump is expected to refuse to recertify the deal, kicking off a 60-day clock during which Congress could do one of the following:
- Choose not to do anything which would leave the deal in place.
- Snap back sanction on Iran and kill the deal.
- Unilaterally pass legislation addressing new concerns that would effectively kill the deal while avoiding responsibility for its collapse.
Even if President Trump does decertify the deal, we still have the opportunity to preserve diplomacy. Grassroots pressure on Congress to choose diplomacy over war succeeded the first time. Grassroots organizing can win again!