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Iran deal: We can't have 535 secretaries of state in Congress

President Barack Obama's Iranian nuclear weapons prevention speech on Aug. 5 laid out the history and the facts of the pending agreement. His challenge to those who oppose the deal to come up with a better realistic solution met with silence ("A 'good enough' agreement," July 24).

The president was unequivocal about the deal negotiated over two years by the world powers and why it is supported by virtually every nation except Israel, and even Israeli generals and intelligence officers say the agreement is the best way to monitor and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Clearly, the potential benefits of hard-nosed diplomacy (with rigorous inspections, "snapback" sanctions and the probability of a devastating military response to cheating) are preferable to war and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. If the legislature of the United States, the architect of this international anti-nuclear agreement, fails to support what's best for U.S. security, the Iranian people, and for stability in the region, it would be a tragedy of historic proportions.

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Our Constitution calls for one president and one secretary of state to form coalitions of nations and negotiate international treaties and agreements. The Congress can approve or disapprove as they see fit. What can't work and isn't Constitutional is for 535 congressional politicians to usurp executive branch diplomatic functions by dealing directly with foreign heads of state and trying to renegotiate international agreements. Especially when partisan advantage is a motive.

Roger C. Kostmayer, Baltimore

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