H. R. 783
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 15, 2013
Ms. Lee of California (for herself, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Rush, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Dingell, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Holt, and Mr. Moran) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
To enhance diplomacy with Iran to peacefully prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear
Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act
Congress finds the following:
In his Nobel Peace
Prize acceptance speech on December 10, 2009, President Obama said,
know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of
indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach—and condemnation
without discussion—can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive
regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open
President Obama stated on November 14,
With respect to Iran, I very much want to see a diplomatic
resolution to the problem. I was very clear before the campaign, I was clear
during the campaign and I’m now clear after the campaign—we’re not going to let
Iran get a nuclear weapon. But I think there is still a window of time for us
to resolve this diplomatically. We’ve imposed the toughest sanctions in
history. It is having an impact on Iran’s economy. There should be a way in
which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their
international obligations and providing clear assurances to the international
community that they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon..
While the United
States has engaged in direct negotiations with Iran without preconditions under
the Obama Administration, official representatives of the United States and
official representatives of Iran have held only two direct, bilateral meetings
in over 30 years, both of which occurred in October 2009, one on the sidelines
of the United Nations Security Council negotiations in Geneva, and one on the
sidelines of negotiations brokered by the United Nations International Atomic
Energy Agency (referred to in this Act as the
Resolving all of the outstanding issues between the United States and Iran cannot be achieved instantaneously and will require a robust, sustained diplomatic effort involving multilateral and bilateral negotiations.
Department of State’s current
no contact policy, officers and
employees of the Department of State are not permitted to make any direct
contact with official representatives of the Government of Iran without express
prior authorization from the Secretary of State.
On September 20,
2011, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called for
establishing direct communications with Iran, stating,
I’m talking about
any channel that’s open. We’ve not had a direct link of communication with Iran
since 1979. And I think that has planted many seeds for miscalculation. When
you miscalculate, you can escalate and misunderstand..
While the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran and has inspectors and monitoring devices located at Iranian nuclear facilities, the agency has expressed concerns regarding Iran’s past and ongoing nuclear work that can only be resolved through increased transparency, more robust safeguards, and a more vigorous inspections regime.
On October 3,
2012, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated,
The results of an
American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove
catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.,
[S]uch an attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable.
They would just bury the program deeper and make it more
Statement of policy
It should be the policy of the United States—
to prevent Iran from pursuing or acquiring a nuclear weapon and to resolve the concerns of the United States and of the international community about Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s human rights obligations under international and Iranian law;
to ensure inspection of suspected prohibited cargo to or from Iran, as well as the seizure and disposal of prohibited items, as authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 (June 9, 2010);
to pursue sustained, direct, bilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran without preconditions in order to reduce tensions, prevent war, prevent nuclear proliferation, support human rights, and seek resolutions to issues that concern the United States and the international community;
to utilize all diplomatic tools, including engaging in direct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, leveraging sanctions, engaging in Track II diplomacy, creating a special envoy described in section 4, and enlisting the support of all interested parties to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war;
to secure an agreement that ensures Iran does not engage in nuclear weapons work and that Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is verifiably limited to civilian purposes through the implementation of robust safeguards and enhanced IAEA inspections, including through the implementation of the Additional Protocol;
to pursue opportunities to build mutual trust and to foster sustained negotiations in good faith with Iran and to explore areas of mutual benefit to both Iran and the United States, such as regional security, the long-term stabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan, the establishment of a framework for peaceful nuclear energy production, other peaceful energy modernization programs, and counter-narcotics efforts; and
that no funds appropriated or otherwise made available to any executive agency of the Government of the United States may be used to carry out any military operation or activity against Iran unless the President determines that a military operation or activity is warranted and seeks express prior authorization by Congress, as required under article I, section 8, clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which grants Congress the sole authority to declare war, except that this requirement shall not apply to a military operation or activity—
to directly repel an offensive military action launched from within the territory of Iran against the United States or any ally with which the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement;
in hot pursuit of forces that engage in an offensive military action outside the territory of Iran against United States forces or an ally with which the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement and then enter into the territory of Iran; or
to directly thwart an imminent offensive military action to be launched from within the territory of Iran against United States forces or an ally with which the United States has a mutual defense assistance agreement.
Appointment of high-level United States representative or special envoy
At the earliest possible date, the President, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran.
Criteria for appointment
The President shall appoint an individual under subsection (a) on the basis of such individual’s knowledge and understanding of Iran and the issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program, experience in conducting international negotiations, and ability to conduct negotiations under subsection (c) with the respect and trust of the parties involved in such negotiations.
The high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran shall—
seek to facilitate direct, unconditional, bilateral, and multilateral negotiations with Iran for the purpose of easing tensions and normalizing relations between the United States and Iran;
lead the diplomatic efforts of the United States with regard to Iran;
consult with other countries and international organizations, including countries in the region, where appropriate and when necessary to achieve the purpose specified in paragraph (1);
act as liaison with United States and international intelligence agencies where appropriate and when necessary to achieve the purpose specified in paragraph (1); and
ensure that the bilateral negotiations under paragraph (1) complement the ongoing international negotiations with Iran.
Duties of the secretary of state
no contact policy
Not later than 30 days after the
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall rescind the
no contact policy that prevents officers and employees of the
Department of State from making any direct contact with official
representatives of the Government of Iran without express prior authorization
from the Secretary of State.
Office of high-Level United States representative or special envoy
Not later than 30 days after the appointment of a high-level United States representative or special envoy under section 4, the Secretary of State shall establish an office in the Department of State for the purpose of supporting the work of such representative or special envoy.
Reporting to Congress
Not later than 60 days after the high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran is appointed under section 4 and every 180 days thereafter, such United States representative or special envoy shall submit to the committees specified in subsection (b) a report on the steps that have been taken to facilitate direct, unconditional, bilateral, and multilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran under section 4(c). Each such report may, when necessary or appropriate, be submitted in classified and unclassified form.
The committees referred to in subsection (a) are—
the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2013 and 2014.