— by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks, California)
Despite many positive elements, the deal reached in Geneva has a significant flaw: It allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium up to a level of 3.5%-5%, as long as it converts this from gas to uranium oxide metal.
Six months from now, Iran will have its current stock of gaseous 3.5% enriched uranium and an additional stockpile of 3.5% enriched uranium oxide, which it could convert back to gas relatively easily.
The United States negotiators in Geneva would have been in a much better position had Congress passed and the President signed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act earlier this year. The more penalties and the more significant impact on Iran’s economy, the more concessions they could have secured.
More after the jump.
Congress should act in December to pass two pieces of legislation concerning Iran:
- Improve the administrative effectiveness of existing sanctions. One example of this effort would be to make every company doing business with the federal government or any state or city certify that they and their affiliates conduct no business that violates any of our sanctions laws.
- We need to enact a bill providing for massive new penalties on Iran. These penalties would go into effect on June 1 unless the President submits, and Congress adopts, a joint resolution that suspends the penalties because Iran has signed a reasonable permanent agreement.
Our negotiators need more leverage, not less. I look forward to working to enact that leverage next month.