Friday, June 20, 2008
Congress Right on Cue
Undersecretary of state John Rood for arms control and international security reminded the foreign affairs committee of the house that 123 agreements with other states "contains all the necessary nonproliferation conditions and controls that Congress has written into law." In other words, this agreement would bring Russia's nuclear industry into alignment with our regulations and controls, allow for more cooperation, and be a further step in helping to internationalize the nuclear fuel cycle, a key component to limiting the spread of enrichment capabilities to more countries. All positives for the U.S., but apparently not enough for some in the Congress.
UPDATE: Thanks to Justin Logan over at the Cato Institute, who passed along what happened earlier this week in the Senate Finance Committee, which approved an Iran sanctions bill that also contains language to block the 123 Agreement with Russia. Four Senators--Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), John Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA)--tried to remove this language, on the grounds that this jeopardizes efforts to isolate Iran.
Also, the bill has provisions for what many Europeans see as extra-territorial efforts to apply U.S. law to non-U.S. subsidiaries--and this at a time when Europeans are themselves showing more interest in sanctioning Iran.