By Julia Schoonover
On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, World Affairs Council-Washington, DC hosted a Foreign Policy Panel debate, “Should Congress Pass a Resolution of Disapproval of the Iran Nuclear Agreement?” The event was moderated by Anna Mulrine, Defense Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. Ms. Mulrine opened the debate by reminding everyone that currently President Obama has the support he needs in Congress go ahead with the Iran Nuclear Agreement. She also went on the state that this is one of the most highly debated topics since the Iraq war.
Representing the side that a resolution of disapproval should pass and arguing against the agreement was Michael Doran, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and formerly the Senior Director at the National Security Council on Middle East Issues. Mr. Doran argued that Congress should disapprove the agreement because no claims given by President Obama were true in regards to the agreement. He believes that many countries have been forced to agree with this deal out of fear of backlash they may face from the United States. Moving forward with the deal and lifting the sanctions on Iran would only serve to strengthen a dangerous regime. When questioned on what a better solution would be he stated that the best solution would be to secure a deal which completely dismantled Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
Representing the side against a resolution of disapproval and supporting the agreement was Daryl Kimball, the Executive Director at the Arms Control Association and formerly the Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers. Mr. Kimball argued that Congress should approve the agreement because it is the most realistic option at this time. He stated that this agreement will give the international community access to both declared and undeclared sites in Iran. Mr. Kimball stated that in the last ten years Iran has been arming themselves at an alarming rate and this deal will not only stop them but will reduce any stockpiles they have acquired. He concluded that this deal is better than no deal.
This topic is rarely one that is debated casually or without great passion. As the vote on the resolution in congress approaches many people wonder what this means for the future, Iran, and the international community.