Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who represents New York’s 9th district – which includes Crown Heights –, is among few members of Brooklyn’s congressional delegation that has not signed a bipartisan letter to President Obama demanding that he consult with congress and obtain its approval before striking any potential deal with Iran.
As the July 20th deadline approaches for the U.S. and Iran to negotiate a “comprehensive solution” to the Iranian nuclear program, The U.S. House of Representatives is insisting that it must assert its central role. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) are circulating a bipartisan letter that urges President Obama to begin substantive consultations with Congress concerning a final agreement and any potential sanctions relief package.
The letter stresses that greater cooperation between the President and Congress is essential, given that any permanent sanctions relief requires congressional approval.
“Since Congress must approve any permanent sanctions relief, the administration must consult Congress about the outline of any final deal with Iran,” said a spokesman a Washington, D.C. pro-Israel lobby group.
Current U.S. law requires that most sanctions cannot be permanently lifted unless Iran’s nuclear weapons program is dismantled, its ballistic missile and unconventional weapons programs ended, and its support for international terrorism terminated.
“The magnitude and complexity of potential sanctions relief will require extensive engagement with Congress. U.S. sanctions encompass more than a dozen laws, executive orders, and scores of designations. However, the administration has not yet approached Congress about its plan for this critical issue. It is time to start that process now,” the spokesman said.
One Crown Heights community member told CrownHeights.info that he had just gotten off the phone with Clarke’s office with the following message, which he urges others to copy:
“I am calling Representative Clarke to urge her to sign the Royce-Engel letter to the President. The letter urges the administration to work closely with Congress on the scope of acceptable sanctions relief as the deadline to reach a final nuclear deal with Iran approaches.”
To contact Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, call 718-287-1142 (Brooklyn office), or 202-225-6231 (D.C. office).
To view the Royce-Engel letter, click here.
Update: CrownHeights.info has been notified that Rep. Clarke has signed the letter.