BPC releases new analysis on Iran sanctions

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-profit organization driving principled solutions through analysis, negotiation and dialogue, released a new analysis of Iran sanctions on Friday calling for better cooperation between Congress and the White House.

BPC's Foreign Policy Project released the analysis, which said that improved cooperation could help in the prevention of a nuclear Iran. The BPC report recommended five measures for the White House and Congress to consider.

The measures include requiring the U.S. president to issue a monthly certification that Iran is abiding by the terms of the interim deal, enumerating the specific elements Congress expects in a final deal with Iran and requiring the president to certify whether or not all elements agreed to by Congress were also agreed to by Iran at the end of a six-month interim period. The BPC also recommended that the additional sanctions against Iran being considered by Congress only go into effect if the president fails to certify that Iran is abiding by the terms of the interim deal or that authorization be given to the president to waive relevant sanctions if included as part of a deal with Iran.

"The goal of preventing a nuclear Iran has always been a bipartisan one," Blaise Misztal, the acting director of BPC's Foreign Policy Project, said. "As diplomatic efforts continue in Geneva, maintaining that bipartisanship as any interim agreement is carried out, especially in the form of cooperation between the White House and Capitol Hill, will be crucial to its success. Reaching a final deal, therefore, that satisfies U.S. security interests will require credibly applying pressure before such an agreement and being able to relieve it afterwards. Due to the nature of U.S. sanctions, the needed mix of carrots and sticks can only be achieved if the Congress and Obama administration work together."

The sanctions regime built by the U.S. over decades is a complicated mix of legislation and executive orders. The BPC said that to prevent a nuclear Iran, it is very important that the executive and legislative branches work together.

"Both legislative and executive powers will be needed to reach a successful diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program," Misztal said. "They should begin laying the foundation for cooperation now to enhance the chances of a peaceful end to Iran's nuclear ambitions."

In addition to the recommendations, the BPC released an analysis of all U.S. sanctions currently in place against Iran, which also shows the authority needed to lift them.