Friday, January 8, 2016

Iran’s Congressional Veto

Tehran demands waivers from a new law on visa entries to the U.S.
President Obama has staked much of his foreign-policy legacy on the Iran nuclear deal, but does that deal effectively give the Iranians veto power over legislation by the U.S. Congress? That’s the question at the center of Tehran’s “outrage” at a security law passed by Congress after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.
The December omnibus budget law includes a measure revising the Visa Waiver Program. Expedited entry into the U.S. is no longer available to foreign travelers who have visited Iraq, Syria or countries that “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism” on or after March 1, 2011. Thus the law covers those who have visited Iran, a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism.
Foreign travelers affected by the new law will no longer have visas automatically waived. Instead, they must submit a visa application, pay a fee and submit to an in-person interview at the local U.S. Embassy or consulate, like every other businessman or tourist. The law passed the House 407-19.
Have No Fear, John Kerry and Team Obama to the rescue:
... Secretary of State John Kerry replied the next day, writing to Mr. Zarif that the Administration “has the authority to waive” the visa changes passed by Congress, and that the measure won’t “prevent” the U.S. from fulfilling its nuclear-deal commitments and won’t “interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran.” ...
Read the full WSJ op-ed HERE.

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