July 2, 2014 | The Washington Post

Holding the line on Iran sanctions

To prevent this result — or another six months of stalling when the Iranians continue to make progress on advanced centrifuges and ballistic missile research, Congress must act. Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who is a key player in devising sanctions, and Richard Goldberg, former deputy chief of staff and foreign policy adviser to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), write:

If a final nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran does not meet a series of parameters that already has strong bipartisan support in Congress, the House and Senate should defend American sanctions against Iran and resist pressure to trade sanctions relief for a bad deal. However, should an acceptable agreement be reached that fully addresses Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Congress must play a role, in cooperation with the Obama administration, to construct and oversee a smart sanctions architecture of effective enforcement and relief. This architecture should deter and punish Iranian non-compliance with such an agreement; provide a vital enforcement mechanism to support a monitoring, verification, and inspection regime; and curb Iran’s support for terrorism and its abuse of human rights.

This flexible and limited sanctions relief framework should be based on: (1) the final agreement meeting a series of parameters that already has strong bipartisan Congressional support; (2) the careful sequencing of sanctions relief tied to Iran meeting its obligations under an agreement; (3) the creation of a permissible financial channel through which trade and financial transactions can occur; (4) temporary suspension of only those sanctions which can quickly be “snapped-back” should Iran fail to comply with the agreement; (5) the maintenance of all conduct-based sanctions until Treasury can certify that the behavior which prompted the designation has ceased; and, (6) a series of Presidential certifications that Iran has changed its behavior in critical areas of concern.

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