Congressional Options and Their Likely Consequences for a Nuclear Deal with Iran

With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 now extended beyond the original November 24 deadline, some members of Congress might now attempt to intervene legislatively. Congressional action could either help or hinder the implementation of whatever deal may be reached. What options are available to Congress, and what are the likely consequences of each for the United States?

RAND analyst Larry Hanauer identifies and assesses eight potential courses of action that Congress could take that might either facilitate, hinder, or block implementation of a nuclear deal.

  • To what extent can the president provide Iran with sanctions relief without congressional approval?
  • How can Congress influence the Administration's implementation of an Iran nuclear deal?
  • How might new sanctions passed by Congress affect the implementation of a deal?
  • What could Congress do if Iran fails to comply with an agreement?

Learn More

  • U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomes newly elected Republican senators, November 12, 2014

    Report

    The Days After a Deal with Iran: Congress's Role in Implementing a Nuclear Agreement

    The president has extensive authority under the law to provide sanctions relief to Iran as part of a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Nevertheless, Congress can take a range of steps to facilitate, hinder, or even block the executive branch's efforts.

  • Meeting to discuss Iran nuclear deal at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 29, 2015

    Project

    The Days After a Deal with Iran

    Now that a nuclear agreement has been struck, what will be the implications for U.S. regional strategy, Iran's own foreign policy orientation, the response from regional partners, the global non-proliferation regime, and the role of Congress in implementation of the agreement?