In response to letter writer Thomas Winn (Approval of Obama’s deal with Iran Baffling,” on Aug. 11), while Mr. Winn makes some valid points when it comes to the Senate’s role in ratifying treaties, the reason those arguments don’t apply in this case is because the Iran deal is not considered a treaty. Instead it is an executive agreement, which does not require congressional approval.
While there is not much difference between a treaty and an executive agreement, presidents have been using them as a way to avoid Senate approval going back to the founding of the country, even more so since WWII when they were used often by FDR.
In this case, because part of the agreement involves the removal of sanctions and freeing up frozen Iranian bank accounts, Congress does get a say, but if they vote to retain the sanctions, the president can veto it, and there are probably not enough votes for an override.
Even if a presidential veto were overridden, the other countries involved in the agreement could still remove sanctions, since not all of Iran’s assets are in U.S. banks.
It would also erode confidence in this or any future president to engage in international agreements with allies or adversaries alike, since they would have no assurance congress would agree to the terms.
Louis G. Crispino