Dem bill offers option of force against Iran
© Greg Nash

A House Democrat wants to give Congress the option of authorizing military force against Iran if it violates the terms of the nuclear deal.

Rep. John Larson John Barry LarsonTo encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision Democrats have a growing tax problem with SALT On The Money: Social Security gives IRS data for COVID-19 relief checks | Senate passes bill heading off Medicare cuts MORE (D-Conn.), a former House Democratic Caucus chairman, introduced legislation that would authorize the president to deploy armed forces to dismantle Iran’s nuclear arsenal if international inspectors determine it isn’t complying with its obligations under the agreement.

The Connecticut Democrat submitted the resolution as the House adjourned for the five-week August recess on Wednesday.


Upon returning in September, lawmakers will face a mid-month deadline to vote on whether to endorse or reject the Iran deal. The Obama administration is lobbying Democrats heavily to sustain a presidential veto, since Republicans are expected to pass a resolution of disapproval.

Under Larson’s resolution, the authority to launch a military campaign against Iran would only be allowed if the president certifies to Congress that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have determined Iran has failed to comply with its obligations under the deal in a way that threatens U.S. security; sanctions have been reimposed against Iran; and if the president provides Congress with a concrete strategy to use armed forces.

The authority granted to use military force against Iran would sunset after a year.

Larson’s measure also stresses that President Obama “should be commended for the unwavering commitment to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon and the willingness to explore a peaceful path to ensure Iran remains free of nuclear weapons.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has endorsed the deal, while many other Democrats are still reviewing the deal and remain undecided.

Larson supports the Iran deal, spokeswoman Geraldine De Puy said.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Democratic leadership and a top Jewish Democrat, indicated this week that he was leaning against supporting the deal.