May 28

In “Bringing in Congress on an Iran deal” [op-ed, May 25], Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross and Ray Takeyh outlined a series of steps to secure congressional support for a possible deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The authors asserted that “any deal is likely to be far more credible on the Hill if the administration has a clear plan to deal with cheating” and proposed that such a plan could “include congressional authorization for the use of force to respond to violations of the agreement.”

In the wake of the Iraq war, the notion of Congress pre-authorizing the use of force to respond to violations of an agreement with Iran — in effect, giving this or any future president a green light to use force against Iran — would and should be met with severe skepticism by representatives intent on preserving congressional prerogatives and not writing the White House another blank check. Moreover, one would expect that President Obama — who made his way onto the national stage in 2002 by opposing the congressional joint resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq — would see the irony of any such plan.

There are many ways consistent with our Constitution that the administration and Congress can show resolve to Iran. Pre-authorization is not a plan that an elected U.S. politician in any branch of government could or should embrace.

Steve Andreasen, Bethesda

The writer, a consultant to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, was the National Security Council’s staff director for defense policy and arms control from 1993 to 2001.