August 12, 2015 | Quote

How Obama Could Salvage the Iran Deal

If Congress votes down the Iran nuclear deal, President Barack Obama says, the agreement will collapse and war will come “soon.”

But Obama has broad powers to act alone — even against the will of Congress — say experts and former administration officials familiar with internal deliberations. Using his executive branch authority, Obama could effectively halt many U.S. sanctions on Iran, they say, in a bid to persuade Tehran to meet its end of the bargain.

Even some leading critics of the deal argue that Obama could deliver significant sanctions relief to Iran no matter what Congress does.


“The president would use executive orders to [de-sanction] all these Iranian entities and financial institutions,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a leading critic of the agreement. “You can’t kill the deal.”

Dubowitz predicted that Iran would maintain its end of the deal with the goal of seeing all U.N. and E.U. sanctions lifted once it has scaled back its nuclear program. The goal for opponents of the deal, he said, was to convince businesses “that it is premature to flood back into Iran until there’s a new president and his or her policies are better understood.”


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