In a Saturday night letter from President Obama's chief of staff Denis McDonough to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker, the White House confirmed that in fact the United Nations will play a key role in any nuclear deal that may be reached with Iran.
"The United Nations Security Council will also have a role to play in any deal with Iran," McDonough writes, after urging Congress not to pass a bill related to the nuclear negotiations.
"Just as it is true that only Congress can terminate U.S. statutory sanctions Iran, only the Security Council can terminate the Security Council's sanctions on Iran. Because the principal negotiators of an arrangement with Iran are the five permanent members of th Security Council, we anticipate that the Security Council would pass a resolution to register its support for any deal and increase its international legitimacy. A resolution would also increase the international pressure on Iran to live up to the deal and would expand the risks if they failed to do so," McDonough continued.
The White House insists Congress will play a role, but that the coequal branch of government should only act how and when it's told to act.
"The Administration's request to the Congress is simple: let us complete the negotiations before the Congress acts on legislation," McDonough states.
"The Administration is committed to sharing the details and technical documents related to a long-term comprehensive deal with Congress. If we successfully negotiate a framework by the end of this month, and a final deal by the end of June, we expect a robust debate in Congress. We will aggressively seek public and congressional support for a deal -- if we reach one -- because we believe a good deal far better than the alternatives available to the United States," the White House chief of staff goes on to write, signaling that Congress will only have a role after a deal is reached with Iran.
"We understand that Congress will make its own determinations about how to respond, but we do not believe that the country's interests are served by congressional attempts to weigh in prematurely on this sensitive and consequential ongoing international negotiation aimed at achieving a goal that we all share: using diplomacy to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon."
The letter was first reported on by the Huffington Post. Read the entire three-page letter here.