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Published on September 23rd, 2015 | by Jim Lobe

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Cardin’s Bill Softer But Still Toxic

by Jim Lobe

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) appears to have watered down his “Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015” in the hopes of wooing more Democrats to support it. But the latest draft, while not as toxic as the first, still contains a number of elements that are likely to prove highly objectionable and provocative to Iran and Washington’s P5+1 partners. If approved—and it has yet to be formally introduced—it will undoubtedly strengthen hard-line opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The new draft, which I have transcribed in full below, has either softened or eliminated altogether certain nuclear-related provisions in the original that were true “poison pills” and would have made it more difficult or even impossible for the administration to implement specific terms of the JCPOA. But it has also retained provisions that will make it far more difficult to achieve any substantial détente with Iran, let alone active cooperation in dealing with common regional threats, such as the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) or al-Qaeda in its various forms.

To begin with the positive, the new draft eliminates any explicit reference (Section 5) to the delivery to Israel of Massive Ordinance Penetrators (MOPs). It states that the president may, “consistent with United States treaty obligations” transfer such weapons (without referring to them by name). The reference to treaty obligations, which was missing in the original draft, would appear to rule out providing B-52s or other strategic bombers capable of delivering MOPs because that would constitute a clear violation of Washington’s commitments under the New START treaty.

“It was a relief to see that [under the new wording] the U.S. will respect its international treaty obligations with regards to military transfers to Israel,” Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association (ACA), told Lobelog.

Davenport also noted that a softening in another provision (Sec. 8 in the original; Section 12 in the latest version) that would have required the administration to provide “complete information” to key congressional committees on all efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve all pending issues regarding the “possible military dimensions” (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. Under the new language, the president is required to submit “a detailed report.” Moreover, the new draft omits from its list of pending PMD issues that the president is required to provide information about “the technical-expert meetings that took place between the IAEA and Iran officials and scientists,” a requirement that would clearly have violated Iran’s confidentiality agreements with its member states.

On the other hand, the latest draft retained language requiring the president to disclose “the methods and results of environmental sampling at the Parchin military base,” a requirement that could still prove problematic, although it may be answered by the IAEA’s final report that is due to be released December 15, as well as by this week’s remarks by the head of the IAEA’s Safeguards Department who had just returned with IAEA Director-General Yukio Amano from a visit to Parchin.

The original draft also sought to effectively renegotiate at least one specific provision of the JCPOA by insisting that “any production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) by Iran would be a violation of the JCPOA.” But the JCPOA itself merely restricts Iran’s enrichment to reactor-grade levels (3.67%) for the first 15 years of the agreement, at which point the limitation would cease to exist unless a new agreement took its place. The latest draft replaced this provision with a policy statement that Iran “is not permitted to accumulate highly enriched uranium…beyond what is consistent with peaceful civilian applications…” (Section 3).

As modified, according to Davenport, those provisions in the new draft that relate strictly to nuclear issues should not prevent the administration from implementing the JCPOA. But, she added, “many of the provisions are unnecessary and provocative,” an assessment with which Tyler Cullis, the legal fellow at the National Iranian American Council, agreed. “You won’t see anything that will interfere with the ability of the administration to implement the deal, but there are provisions that will merit a response from Iran’s own parliament and thus threaten to steer us back into a cycle of mutual recrimination from which we’ve just departed.” (Tyler will provide us with a more detailed critique of the new draft on Friday, as he did for the first one two weeks ago).

Aggressive Stance toward Iran

Indeed, as with the original draft, Cardin’s latest bristles with hostility toward Iran, depicting it as a permanent threat to the United States and its allies and issuing threats of its own.

Section 3 cited above, for example, ends with the following phrase: “it is to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.” Section 6 states that “[I]t shall be the policy of the United States, in interpreting the [JCPOA], that nothing in the JCPOA limits or curtails the ability of Congress to pass sanctions legislation to address Iranian terrorism activities and Iran’s ballistic and cruise missile activities”—an assertion that not only will hard-liners in Tehran use as evidence of Washington’s bad faith but that may also violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the agreement itself.

For example, virtually all of the language regarding the maintenance of existing terrorism-, missile-, and human rights-related sanctions against Iranian entities (such as financial institutions) and individuals (Sections 6-7) is retained in the latest iteration. The one potentially significant difference is that the first draft required a delay of 90 days between presidential certification that the target entities and individuals were no longer engaged in the objectionable activity and their release from the sanctions. In the latest draft, however, the 90-day delay is omitted.

On the other hand, the provision for “Expedited Consideration of New Terrorism-Related Sanctions Against Iran” (Section 9) is virtually identical to Section 15 of the original draft and is certain to fuel fears in Tehran that Congress will try to enact new legislation that imposes the same kinds of sweeping sanctions that are being lifted under the JCPOA.

If, under this provision, the president reports to Congress that “the Government of Iran has directed or conducted an act of international terrorism against the United States or that the Government of Iran has substantially increased its operational or financial support for a terrorist organization that threatens the interests or allies of the United States,” Congress can take up such legislation within 10 days with a limit of only 10 hours of debate in each house, thus minimizing the time and opportunity for lawmakers to seriously consider options and their implications. As I pointed out when the initial Cardin draft first surfaced, the expedited procedures could also invite forces in the region that are hostile to Iran to commit terrorist acts in ways that Iran or any Iranian-supported group could credibly be blamed in the knowledge that Congress could act before a serious investigation could be carried out. Moreover, such legislation could deprive the president of his authority to waive sanctions in the interests of national security. This seems to be a very dangerous piece of legislation and, if enacted, is most unlikely to encourage détente between Washington and Tehran. (And the fact that it has been most avidly promoted by hard-line neoconservatives should give pause.)

In an interview posted on the Council on Foreign Relations website on Wednesday, Richard Nephew, a former top sanctions official at the State Department and currently director of the economic statecraft, sanctions, and energy markets program at Columbia University, warned explicitly against such legislation.

The Iranians have as much interest in the nuclear deal being sustained as the United States, so I doubt that for one additional Iranian bank or one additional IRGC person being sanctioned they’re going to walk away from the deal. But if the United States tries to sanction the entirety of the Iranian financial system all over again using the excuse of terrorism, the Iranians will walk away.

What is required is prudence—to decide whether the penalties that would be imposed on Iranian bad actors are significant enough that it could stop their bad activity or impair their bad activity and that it’s worth risking a possible negative Iranian response. If we see Iranian bad actors doing things in violation of U.S. law, we ought to consider sanctioning them, even more so if we think our sanctions will have a positive impact. But if we’re just looking for ways to look tough, that’s a bad reason to take new measures.

There are other provisions that could prove problematic, but here’s the draft bill as it currently stands.

Draft Legislation

S._______

To provide for greater congressional oversight of Iran’s nuclear program

and support for terrorism, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. CARDIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on _______________

A BILL

To provide for greater congressional oversight of Iran’s nuclear program and support for terrorism, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE.—This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015’’.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Statement of policy on deterrence.

Sec. 4. Regional strategy for countering conventional and asymmetric Iranian activity and threats in the Middle East and North Africa.

Sec. 5. Authorization of additional security assistance to Israel.

Sec. 6. Continuation in effect of sanctions with respect to Iranian entities and individuals engaged in ballistic or cruise missile proliferation, or terrorism.

Sec. 7. Continuation in effect of sanctions with respect to human rights abuses by Iran.

Sec. 8. Reports on Iranian use of funds received as part of sanctions relief under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Sec. 9. Expedited consideration of new terrorism-related sanctions against Iran.

Sec. 10. Statements of policy.

Sec. 11. Reports on Iranian research and development and breakout times.

Sec. 12. Reporting on resolution of Iran’s past military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Sec. 13. Multilateral diplomacy for an effective re-imposition of sanctions.

Sec. 14. United States coordinator for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Sec. 15. Unified policy on arms and ballistic and cruise missile sales to Iran.

Sec. 16. International Atomic Energy Agency.

Sec. 17. Definitions.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) On May 22, 2015, the President signed into law the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–17), a bill that passed the United States Congress with broad bipartisan support, continuing the robust role the Congress has played in oversight of the United States policy of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.

(2) On July 14, 2015, the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iran announced the completion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), specifying steps to be taken by Iran related to its nuclear program.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY ON DETERRENCE.

Iran does not have an inherent right to uranium enrichment and is not permitted to accumulate highly enriched uranium, pursuant to its enduring international obligations, beyond what is consistent with peaceful civilian applications, and as such it is the policy of the United States that all of the options available to the United States, including the military option, remain available to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

SEC. 4. REGIONAL STRATEGY FOR COUNTERING CONVEN-

TIONAL AND ASYMMETRIC IRANIAN ACTIVITY AND THREATS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA.

Not later than January 10, 2016, and every two years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees an unclassified ten-year strategy (which may contain a classified annex) to counter conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. The strategy shall include at a minimum the following elements:

(1) A summary of the near and long-term United States objectives, plans, and means for building a regional security architecture capable of and committed to countering Iran’s destabilizing activities.

(2) A summary of United States objectives for individual country capabilities and contributions to the regional security architecture, including an estimated timeline for achieving desired capabilities, for each member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel.

(3) An assessment of Iran’s grand strategy and objectives for the Middle East region, and an assessment of anticipated modifications to Iranian objectives, policies, and activities for achieving the grand strategy.

(4) An assessment of Iran’s conventional force capabilities, and an assessment of Iranian plans to upgrade its conventional force capabilities, including its acquisition, development, and deployment of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, and maritime offensive and anti-access/area denial capabilities, at 5, 8, and 10 years following the date of the enactment of this Act.

(5) An assessment of Iran’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities, and an assessment of Iranian plans to upgrade its chemical and biological weapons capabilities.

(6) An assessment of Iran’s asymmetric activities in the region, including—

(A) the size, capabilities, and activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, including the Quds Force;

(B) the size, capabilities, and activities of Iran’s cyber operations;

(C) the types and amount of support, including funding, lethal and non-lethal contributions, and training, provided to Hezbollah, Hamas, special groups in Iraq, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, Houthi fighters in Yemen, and other violent groups across the Middle East;

(D) the scope and objectives of Iranian information operations and use of propaganda; and

(E) an assessment of anticipated modifications by Iran to the activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) over the course of the next 10 to 15 years.

(7) An assessment of Iran’s strategy regarding 23 other countries in the region, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, the Palestinian territories, and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and an assessment of any anticipated modifications to objectives, policies, and activities for achieving the grand strategy.

(8) A description of current and planned activities, engagements, exercises, military sales, training, intelligence and surveillance support, and other forms of security assistance and cooperation for United States partners and allies in the region, in order to actively counter current Iranian conventional and asymmetric threats described under paragraphs (3) through (7), as well as to prepare for evolving threats from Iran over the course of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including an assessment of the impact of activities described in paragraph (7) on Israel’s qualitative military edge.

(9) An outline of United States authorities, planning, and actions, unilaterally and in cooperation with foreign governments, to counter threats from Iran’s conventional force capabilities described under paragraph (4).

(10) An outline, including specific examples, of United States authorities, planning, and actions, unilaterally and in cooperation with foreign governments, to counter Iran’s threat network described under subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (6) and paragraph (7), including—

(A) interdiction of Iranian lethal arms bound for groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the United States under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189);

(B) interdiction of Iranian activities and prevention of Iranian harassment or interference in international commercial shipping lanes;

(C) countering Iranian attempts to undermine or subvert internationally recognized governments in the Middle East region; and

(D) countering Iran’s support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, including—

(i) financial assistance, military equipment and personnel, and other support provided to that regime; and

(ii) support and direction to other armed actors that are not Syrian or Iranian and are acting on behalf of that regime.

(11) A review of individual country contributions to the regional security architecture.

(12) A review of efforts to counter Iran’s conventional and asymmetric capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa.

(13) An assessment of the commitment and capabilities of United States allies and partners to countering Iran’s conventional and asymmetric capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF ADDITIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO ISRAEL.

(a) SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO ADDRESS IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITIES.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge and effectively deter conventional and nuclear threats, including offensive security assistance, including applicable ordnance and delivery systems, to counter non-peaceful nuclear activities by Iran, such as the production of highly enriched uranium for non-peaceful purposes.

(2) DEPLOYMENT.—Pursuant to consultations between the Governments of Israel and the United States, the President may, consistent with United States treaty obligations, transfer to the Government of Israel, as appropriate, ordnance and delivery systems under such terms and conditions as the President determines necessary, pursuant to the authority of paragraph (1). The President shall, as appropriate, ensure that Israeli personnel have the opportunity and means to train with such defense systems, including joint training exercises, consistent with the requirements of this paragraph.

(b) FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING.—

(1) FINDING.—Congress finds that the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel setting annual foreign military financing levels for Israel is set to conclude at the end of fiscal year 2018, and the terms of its extension will be renegotiated over the 2015 through 2018 time period.

(2) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to provide any additional foreign military financing to Israel in each fiscal year from fiscal year 2018 through fiscal year 2028 as may be needed to address threats from Iran.

(c) REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE.—The President shall provide, as appropriate, assistance and cooperation to Israel to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge and effectively deter conventional and nuclear threats supported, directly or indirectly, by Iran.

(d) UNITED STATES-ISRAEL MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE COOPERATION.—

(1) FINDING.—Congress finds that the United States and Israel have an established record of unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, most recently furthered by the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–8 296), which designated Israel as a major strategic partner of the United States.

(2) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to accelerate co-development of missile defense systems, and to engage in discussions to bolster the effectiveness of Israel’s conventional deterrent and deepen intelligence cooperation.

SEC. 6. CONTINUATION IN EFFECT OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO IRANIAN ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUALS ENGAGED IN BALLISTIC OR CRUISE MISSILE PROLIFERATION, OR TERRORISM.

(a) STATEMENT OF POLICY.—It shall be the policy of the United States, in interpreting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that nothing in the JCPOA limits or curtails the ability of Congress to pass sanctions legislation to address Iranian terrorism activities and Iran’s ballistic and cruise missile activities.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control should be fully funded to ensure strict enforcement of sanctions against Iranian actors in the areas of ballistic or cruise missile proliferation and terrorism, and to ensure effective re-imposition of sanctions in the event of violation or breach by Iran of the JCPOA.

(c) IN GENERAL.—Subtitle B of title II of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8721 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘‘SEC. 225. CONTINUATION IN EFFECT OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO IRANIAN ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUALS ENGAGED IN BALLISTIC, CRUISE MISSILE PROLIFERATION, OR TERRORISM.

‘‘(a) SANCTIONS RELATING TO BLOCKING OF PROPERTY.—United States sanctions applicable with respect to Iranian persons, unless designated by name in Attachments 3 or 4 to Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under Executive Order 13382 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property of weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters), or Executive Order 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism), as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this section, shall remain in effect until the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees the certification described in subsection (b).

‘‘(b) CERTIFICATION DESCRIBED.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The certification described in this subsection is the certification of the President that the Iranian persons sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13382 or Executive Order 13224 are not providing financial or other services in support of, or otherwise facilitating, the ability of Iran to—

‘‘(A) acquire, develop, or engage in the proliferation of ballistic missiles or cruise missiles; or

‘‘(B) directly or indirectly support acts of international terrorism.

‘‘(2) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS.—

‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The President shall submit the certification described in paragraph (1) to the appropriate congressional committees in writing and shall include a justification for the certification.

‘‘(B) FORM OF CERTIFICATION.—The certification described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

‘‘(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the President pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.), or any other provision of law.

‘‘(d) JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’ means the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015, by Iran and by France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and all implementing materials and agreements related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.’’.

(d) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of contents for the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 224 the following new item: ‘‘Sec. 225. Continuation in effect of sanctions with respect to Iranian entities and individuals engaged in ballistic or cruise missile proliferation.’’.

SEC. 7. CONTINUATION IN EFFECT OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY IRAN.

(a) STATEMENT OF POLICY.—It shall be the policy of the United States, in interpreting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that nothing in the JCPOA limits or curtails the ability of Congress to pass sanctions legislation to address Iranian human rights abuses.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control should be fully funded to ensure strict enforcement of sanctions against Iranian actors that commit human rights abuses, and to ensure effective re-imposition of sanctions in the event of violation or breach by Iran of the JCPOA.

(c) SANCTIONS RELATING TO ABUSES OF HUMAN RIGHTS.—United States sanctions applicable with respect to persons, unless designated by name in Attachments 3 or 4 of Annex II of the JCPOA, under Executive Order 13553, Executive Order 13606, or sections 2 or 3 of Executive Order 13628, as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this section, shall remain in effect until the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees the certification described in subsection (d).

(d) CERTIFICATION DESCRIBED.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The certification described in this subsection is the certification of the President that the person sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13553, Executive Order 13606, or sections 2 or 3 of Executive Order 13628, is not engaged in activities sanctionable under Executive Order 13553, Executive Order 13606, or sections 2 or 3 of Executive Order 13628.

(2) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The President shall submit the certification described in paragraph (1), including a justification for the certification, to the appropriate congressional committees.

(B) FORM OF CERTIFICATION.—The certification described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

(e) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the President pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.), or any other provision of law.

SEC. 8. REPORTS ON IRANIAN USE OF FUNDS RECEIVED AS PART OF SANCTIONS RELIEF UNDER THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION.

Not later than January 10, 2016, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees—

(1) a description of—

(A) the monetary value of direct and indirect sanctions relief received by Iran;

(B) increases in funding for the IRGC and its Quds Force; and

(C) changes in funding for regional activities and support for terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the regime of Bashar al-Assad; and

(2) a determination on whether persons, including foreign financial institutions, providing financial support or assistance to any entity described in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (1) are subject to United States economic sanctions.

SEC. 9. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF NEW TERRORISM-RELATED SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN.

(a) DETERMINATION.—If the President determines that the Government of Iran has directed or conducted an act of international terrorism against the United States or that the Government of Iran has substantially increased its operational or financial support for a terrorist organization that threatens the interests or allies of the United States, the President shall immediately notify Congress.

(b) QUALIFYING LEGISLATION DEFINED.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘‘qualifying legislation’’ means only a bill of either House of Congress that authorizes or requires the President to impose sanctions on persons the President determines that—

(1) commit acts of international terrorism, at the direction of an official of the Government of Iran, that threaten the security of nationals of the United States or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States; or

(2) knowingly assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of—

(A) acts described in paragraph (1); or

(B) foreign terrorist organizations that receive financial or other material support from the Government of Iran.

(c) INTRODUCTION.—During the 60-calendar day period after the President notifies Congress of a determination under subsection (a), qualifying legislation may be introduced—

(1) in the House of Representatives, by the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader; and

(2) in the Senate, by the Majority Leader (or the Majority leader’s designee) or the Minority Leader (or the Minority Leader’s designee).

(d) FLOOR CONSIDERATION IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—

(1) REPORTING AND DISCHARGE.—If a committee of the House to which qualifying legislation has been referred has not reported such qualifying legislation within 10 legislative days after the date of referral, that committee shall be discharged from further consideration thereof.

(2) PROCEEDING TO CONSIDERATION.—Beginning on the third legislative day after each committee to which qualifying legislation has been referred reports it to the House or has been discharged from further consideration thereof, it shall be in order to move to proceed to consider the qualifying legislation in the House. All points of order against the motion are waived. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed on the qualifying legislation with regard to the same agreement. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. The motion shall not be debatable. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

(3) CONSIDERATION.—The qualifying legislation shall be considered as read. All points of order against the qualifying legislation and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the qualifying legislation to final passage without intervening motion except two hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the sponsor of the qualifying legislation (or a designee) and an opponent. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the qualifying legislation shall not be in order.

(e) CONSIDERATION IN THE SENATE.—

(1) COMMITTEE REFERRAL.—Qualifying legislation introduced in the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

(2) REPORTING AND DISCHARGE.—If the Committee on Foreign Relations has not reported such qualifying legislation within 10 session days after the date of referral of such legislation, that committee shall be discharged from further consideration of such legislation and the qualifying legislation shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

(3) PROCEEDING TO CONSIDERATION.—Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order at any time after the committee authorized to consider qualifying legislation reports it to the Senate or has been discharged from its consideration (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) to move to proceed to the consideration of qualifying legislation, and all points of order against qualifying legislation (and against consideration of the qualifying legislation) are waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the qualifying legislation is agreed to, the qualifying legislation shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of.

(4) DEBATE.—Debate on qualifying legislation, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be divided equally between the Majority and Minority Leaders or their designees. A motion to further limit debate is in order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the qualifying legislation is not in order.

(5) VOTE ON PASSAGE.—The vote on passage shall occur immediately following the conclusion of the debate on the qualifying legislation and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate, if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate.

(6) RULINGS OF THE CHAIR ON PROCEDURE.—

Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to qualifying legislation shall be decided without debate.

(7) CONSIDERATION OF VETO MESSAGES.—Debate in the Senate of any veto message with respect to qualifying legislation, including all debatable motions and appeals in connection with such qualifying legislation, shall be limited to 10 hours, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the Minority Leader or their designees.

(f) RULES RELATING TO SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.—

(1) COORDINATION WITH ACTION BY OTHER HOUSE.—If, before the passage by one House of qualifying legislation of that House, that House receives qualifying legislation from the other House, then the following procedures shall apply:

(A) The qualifying legislation of the other House shall not be referred to a committee.

(B) With respect to qualifying legislation of the House receiving the legislation—

(i) the procedure in that House shall be the same as if no qualifying legislation had been received from the other House; but

(ii) the vote on passage shall be on the qualifying legislation of the other House.

(2) TREATMENT OF A BILL OF OTHER HOUSE.—If one House fails to introduce qualifying legislation under this section, the qualifying legislation of the other House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.

(3) TREATMENT OF COMPANION MEASURES.—

If, following passage of the qualifying legislation in the Senate, the Senate then receives a companion measure from the House of Representatives, the companion measure shall not be debatable.

(4) APPLICATION TO REVENUE MEASURES.— The provisions of this subsection shall not apply in the House of Representatives to qualifying legislation which is a revenue measure.

(g) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.—The term ‘‘act of international terrorism’’ has the meaning given that term in section 14 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

(2) FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.—The term ‘‘foreign terrorist organization’’ means an organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189).

(3) KNOWINGLY.—The term ‘‘knowingly’’ has the meaning given that term in section 14 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 21 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

SEC. 10. STATEMENTS OF POLICY.

It shall be the policy of the United States, in interpreting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and any other related agreement, that—

(1) no sanctions relief for Iran is to be provided pursuant to the JCPOA until Iran completes all activities as set forth in paragraphs 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the Roadmap for Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program, signed at Vienna July 14, 2015, between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, and the completion of such activities is verified by the IAEA in a regular update by the Director General of the IAEA;

(2) any action by the Government of Iran to treat the legitimate imposition of sanctions by the United States or its international partners based on support for terrorism, abuses of human rights, or Iran’s ballistic or cruise missile activities as grounds to cease performing on its commitments under the JCPOA in whole or in part would not be valid and would be inconsistent with the terms of the JCPOA; and

(3) in the event that sanctions on Iran are re-imposed consistent with the JCPOA, such sanctions would not retroactively apply to activities, including activities under contractual arrangements, legitimately entered into prior to the re-imposition of sanctions, but sanctions may apply to activities, including activities under contractual arrangements entered into prior to the re-imposition of sanctions, to the extent such activities continue beyond the date of the re-imposition of sanctions.

SEC. 11. REPORTS ON IRANIAN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND BREAKOUT TIMES.

Section 135(d) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘‘(8) REPORT ON IRANIAN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND BREAKOUT TIMES.—Not later than 12 January 10, 2016, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership a report detailing—

‘‘(A) any research and development conducted by Iran that is not in compliance with the JCPOA or that may substantially reduce the time for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon;

‘‘(B) an assessment of the period of time it would take Iran to acquire the nuclear material to produce one nuclear weapon; and

‘‘(C) an assessment of the capacity and capability of the IAEA to effectively implement the verification regime required by the JCPOA, including whether the IAEA is receiving sufficient access to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert nuclear-related activities and whether it has the required funding, manpower, and authorities to undertake the verification regime required by the JCPOA.’’.

SEC. 12. REPORTING ON RESOLUTION OF IRAN’S PAST MILITARY DIMENSIONS OF IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

Not later than 30 calendar days after the IAEA submits its final assessment on the resolution on all past and present outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear program to the Board of Governors, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership a detailed report on how outstanding issues were resolved by the IAEA, including the methods and results of environmental sampling at the Parchin military base.

SEC. 13. MULTILATERAL DIPLOMACY FOR AN EFFECTIVE RE-IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—The President should carry out an initiative of multilateral diplomacy, including with European allies, to ensure that there are effective responses to noncompliance incidents and breach by Iran of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

(b) REPORT REQUIRED.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than January 10, 2016, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the President to carry out the initiative described in subsection (a), including commitments by European allies to re-impose the full range of unilateral sanctions in the event of breach, commitments by European allies to impose sanctions in a calibrated manner as appropriate in the event Iran violates the JCPOA incrementally, and the United States’ range of incremental options by which pressure can be applied in the event of non-compliance issues by Iran.

(2) FORM OF REPORTS.—The report submitted under this subsection may be submitted in a classified form.

SEC. 14. UNITED STATES COORDINATOR FOR THE JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION.

(a) DESIGNATION.—The President shall designate within the Department of State a special coordinator for implementation of and compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iran’s nuclear program (in this section referred to as the ‘‘Coordinator’’).

(b) STATUS.—The role of the Coordinator should be filled by an official of the Department of State appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the President.

(c) DUTIES.—The Coordinator shall carry out the folowing duties:

(1) Coordinate all activities related to implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including—

(A) activities of the United States Government necessary for implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action;

(B) activities of the United States Government to monitor all elements of the implementation of the JCPOA by Iran and track all incidences of noncompliance with the JCPOA; and

(C) with the Secretary of Energy, activities of the United States Government with respect to the JCPOA that involve the International Atomic Energy Agency and other nongovernmental or multilateral organizations, as appropriate.

(2) Coordinate with the Department of the Treasury and other agencies as appropriate—

(A) to ensure the continued comprehensive investigation and designation of persons providing support for, or otherwise facilitating, the ability of the Government of Iran—

(i) to acquire, develop, or engage in the proliferation of ballistic missiles or cruise missiles;

(ii) to support, directly or indirectly, acts of international terrorism; or

(iii) to commit human rights abuses; and

(B) to assess and report on the use by the Government of Iran of funds made available through sanctions relief.

(d) CONSULTATIONS.—The Coordinator shall consult with Congress, domestic and international nongovernmental organizations, and multilateral organizations and institutions as the Coordinator considers appropriate to fulfill the purposes of this section.

SEC. 15. UNIFIED POLICY ON ARMS AND BALLISTIC AND CRUISE MISSILE SALES TO IRAN.

(a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that Iran should continue to be prohibited from undertaking any activity related to ballistic or cruise missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic or cruise missile technology, and United Nations member states should take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.

(b) MULTILATERAL ARRANGEMENT.—The President should seek to conclude a multilateral arrangement with member states of the European Union, the European Union as an organization, and any other foreign country or international organization that in the President’s judgment is important for the success of the arrangement, in which each participant—

(1) agrees to provide the other participants with information concerning the potential export by such participant to Iran of arms listed in paragraph 5 of Annex B of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015); and

(2) agrees not to export such arms to Iran if any other participant objects to such export on the grounds that such export could increase Iran’s ability to engage in aggression against its neighbors or otherwise further destabilize the military balance in the Middle East.

SEC. 16. INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY.

(a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must have sufficient funding, manpower, and authority to undertake its verification responsibilities related to the JCPOA or any other related agreement, and the President should engage with international partners to ensure that the IAEA receives the full additional $10,600,000 per year necessary to fulfill its verification responsibilities under the JCPOA or any other related agreement.

(b) REPORT.—Not later than January 10, 2016, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report outlining efforts with international partners to achieve the goal in subsection (a) and identifying impediments to achieving the goal.

(c) AUTHORIZATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years 2016 through 2026 such sums as may be necessary to meet the United States’ annual funding commitments to the IAEA as well as the United States’ portion of additional funds needed for the IAEA to fulfill its verification responsibilities under the JCPOA or any other related agreement.

SEC. 17. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees’’ means—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and (B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

(2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES AND LEADERSHIP.—The term ‘‘appropriate congressional committees and leadership’’ means the appropriate congressional committees, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

(3) JOINT COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION.—

The term ‘‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’’ means the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015, by Iran and by France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and all implementing materials and agreements related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

(4) INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.—The term ‘‘intelligence community’’ means the intelligence community specified in or designated under section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003(4).

Photo of Ben Cardin courtesy of Karen Murphy via Flickr.


About the Author

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Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



One Response to Cardin’s Bill Softer But Still Toxic

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  1. avatar Piere Ha. says:

    Bibi wrote it Repos presenting it.

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