Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Matthew Kroenig writes for the National Review Online on what the new Congress to do to bring about a good nuclear deal with Iran:
As our lawmakers return from their winter recess, the Iran nuclear negotiations will be high on the foreign-policy agenda. The impetus in the new Republican-controlled Congress will be to immediately pass tough new sanctions legislation, but there is a better way to turn up the heat on Tehran while making it clear to everyone that the obstacle to a successful negotiated settlement is Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not Republicans in Congress.
To be sure, getting an acceptable nuclear deal with Iran will require bringing more pressure to bear. Iran makes concessions only when its back is against the wall, and Congress has always understood this. It was congressional sanctions (which the Obama administration resisted) that brought Iran to the table in the first place and got us the interim nuclear deal in November 2013. In the aftermath of that interim deal, Congress wanted to continue its successful strategy by passing tough sanctions-in-waiting legislation. The Kirk–Menendez bill would have put in place conditional penalties that would have gone into effect only if Iran walked away from the negotiations or if it was caught cheating on the interim deal’s terms.