US President Barack Obama congratulated the passage of a UN Security Council resolution supporting the Iran nuclear deal Monday, saying that he expected Congress to follow suit.
The president stated his hope that the UN’s actions would “send a clear message that the overwhelming number of countries” believe that diplomacy is “by far our strongest approach to ensuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.”
“There is a broad international consensus around this issue,” Obama stated. “My working assumption is that Congress will pay attention to that broad basic consensus.”
The unanimous decision by the UN Security Council to adopt the P5+1 brokered agreement now gives countries the ability to lift sanctions on Iran.
While the president may be happy with the UN’s decision, US lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed their disappointment and anger in Obama’s push to secure UN approval before Congress has had the chance to properly review the nuclear accord.
Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint statement with Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) that they were “disappointed” the Security Council voted “before Congress was able to fully review and act on this agreement.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), who previously asked Obama to postpone the UN vote, criticized the move.
“It is inappropriate to commit the United States to meet certain international obligations without even knowing if Congress and the American people approve or disapprove of the Iran agreement,” Corker said. “During the review period, members on both sides of the aisle will evaluate the agreement carefully, press the administration for answers and then vote their conscience.”
Back at the UN, Iranian Ambassador Gholamali Khoshro condemned Israel’s actions to block the agreement, accusing the Jewish State of spreading “Iranophobia” and treating peace “as an existential threat.”
The “Israeli regime, following its general policy to stoke tension in the region, has done whatever is in its power to sabotage and defeat any effort towards resolving the standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program,” he stated. “In so doing, it proves once more that it doesn’t see peace in our region in its interest and considers peace as an existential threat to itself.”
Khoshro added that Israel’s “Iranophobia” seeks to undermine the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy across the world and will stop at nothing “to serve this nefarious purpose.”
“Thus, we alert our friends and neighbors not to fall into their trap,” he added.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called out the international community for being blind to Iran’s true intentions.
“Today’s a very sad day. Not only for Israel, but for the entire world, even if at this moment the international community refuses to see the tragedy,” he said during a speech in the UN. “It’s a sad day, because the international community is taking its first steps to lift sanctions on Iran without waiting to see if it complies with even one obligation.”
According to Prosor, the Security Council “awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world.”
“In future years, the consequences of this mistake will become clear to all. But for Israel, tomorrow is already too late.”