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Connolly-Rooney Introduce Commission to Verify Iranian Nuclear Compliance Act

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Francis Rooney (R-FL) have introduced the Commission to Verify Iranian Nuclear Compliance Act. The bipartisan legislation would establish a Congressional-Executive commission with bipartisan-appointed staff to oversee implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement.

The Commission would include 16 Members of Congress (8 from the Senate and 8 from the House of Representatives) and 4 representatives from the Executive Branch (representing the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Energy). Commissioners would be appointed by the respective Chamber leadership, the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the President.

“Increasing public transparency surrounding the Iran deal’s implementation is a critical priority,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly. “Congress has a role to play in effective oversight of this agreement, and we must assert that role regardless of whether the President certifies Iran’s compliance. This Commission ensures that the effort to constrain the Iranian nuclear program receives the attention it deserves.”

Congressman Rooney stated, “I am co-sponsoring the Commission to Verify Iranian Nuclear Compliance Act, to hold Iran accountable for compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement. Iran cannot be trusted to act in good faith or be allowed to move forward with development of nuclear weapons. This bill is a good first step in ensuring that Iran acts within the boundaries of the agreement that was previously made.”

The Commission to Verify Iranian Nuclear Compliance is modeled after the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, which was created in 1976 to monitor compliance with the Helsinki Final Act. Despite initial pushback from the Nixon Administration, the Helsinki Commission has served as an oversight model and is still actively carrying out its mission nearly 40 years after it was established.

“We believe that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon constitutes a national security priority and that the JCPOA warrants the establishment of a dedicated oversight body,” said Connolly and Rooney. “The creation of the Commission would communicate to Iran and our allies that the United States is committed to ensuring Iran’s strict implementation of the nuclear deal and that Congress will be vigilant in its oversight of Iranian compliance.”

“Congress should act immediately to advance one of the rare proposals on Capitol Hill that has garnered support from both sides of the heated JCPOA debate,” they added.

A diagram detailing the structure of the Commission is available here.

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