Skip to comments.[Obama and Iran warn] Republican Senate takeover could kill Iran nuclear agreement
Posted on 01/23/2014 4:08:14 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
A Republican takeover of the Senate this fall could scuttle one of President Obamas biggest second term goals a nuclear deal with Iran.
Republicans have lambasted the interim agreement with Iran, calling for the Senate to move an Iran sanctions bill. The House last year passed a measure in an overwhelming and bipartisan 400-20 vote. Both the Obama administration and Iran have warned moving such a measure could kill a final deal.
A number of Democrats have also criticized the interim accord, which lifted $6 billion in sanctions on Iran in exchange for a commitment to restrictions on enriching uranium.
Critics in both parties say the deal gave away too much for Iran.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has given Obama cover by refusing to bring sanctions legislation to the floor.
If Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) becomes majority leader, sanctions legislation could move quickly to the floor and could attract a veto-proof majority.
If Republicans held the majority, we would have voted already; with Democrats in charge, Harry Reid denies the American people the bipartisan diplomatic insurance policy they deserve, a senior Republican Senate aide complained.
The aide suggested Republicans will use the issue of Iran to show how a GOP-run Senate would differ with the status quo.
So the question really is, what kind of Senate would people rather have one that puts politics over good policy, or one that holds Iran accountable and works overtime to prevent a world with Iranian nuclear weapons? the aide asked.
A total of 59 senators 16 Democrats and every Republican save two have co-sponsored the sanctions bill from Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Republicans need to gain six seats to win back the majority, something definitely within their grasp this year. The party is a solid favorite to pick up seats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, and believes it can also secure wins in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.
The administration has pleaded with members of both parties to hold back on sanctions against Iran, presenting the deal as a chance at history.
We havent had an opportunity like this probably in the history of our dealings with Iran on its nuclear program, and quite frankly, we dont know when we would have another one, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said this week after the interim deal with Iran went into effect on Monday. All of our partners and we are united in the belief that we have an obligation to test this diplomatic moment, as difficult as it is, and to not do things in any of our capitals that would make that more difficult.
The pending legislation calls for sanctions to kick in if Iran reneges on the terms of the interim deal, which is scheduled to last six months. It would still be timely next year after a new Congress is sworn in, however, because the bill also sets standards that any final deal must meet.
Specifically, the bill demands that the final deal dismantle Iran's illicit nuclear infrastructure, including enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and facilities so that Iran is precluded from a nuclear breakout capability and prevented from pursuing both uranium and plutonium pathways to a nuclear weapon.
Some experts say the bill in effect demands that Iran be denied any right to enrich uranium, which negotiators say is unacceptable.
Obama has hinted zero enrichment isn't in the cards.
Now, youll hear arguments, including potentially from the [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu], that say we cant accept any enrichment on Iranian soil. Period. Full stop. End of conversation, the president said in a speech at the Brookings Institution last month. It is my strong belief that we can envision an end state that gives us an assurance that even if they have some modest enrichment capability, it is so constrained and the inspections are so intrusive that they, as a practical matter, do not have breakout capacity.
Not all Democrats are worried that a Senate flip would doom the deal.
Iran hasn't emerged as an issue in mid-term elections dominated by ObamaCare and the economy, so Republicans won't be under great pressure to act if they do win. And if a final deal however imperfect is reached, Republicans might have a hard time defending a vote that the administration will most likely frame as a path to war.
If against all odds there is a deal and we have some sort of peaceful, diplomatic track toward stopping Iran's nuclear program, it would seem to me that legislation that might blow up that process would be so problematic that hopefully the Republicans wouldn't even go there, said Tommy Vietor, the former spokesman for Obama's National Security Council and now a principal with consulting firm Fenway Strategies.
McConnell has vowed to continue to press the majority leader to allow a vote on the Iran sanctions bill. But a McConnell spokesman on Wednesday pointedly refused to commit to a roll call if Republicans take over.
While the Leader obviously supports the bipartisan legislation and believes it should be brought to the floor as soon as possible, its impossible to know what the situation with Iran will be a year from now, so I cant give you an answer on what legislation will be needed or considered a year from now, the spokesman told The Hill. Its just impossible to predict the unpredictable, so Im sorry, I dont have an answer for you on that.
Zarif told CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto that terminology used by the White House to describe the agreement differed from the text agreed to by Iran and the other countries in the talks -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
"The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments" under the agreement that took effect Monday, Zarif said in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
As part of the accord, Iran was required to dilute its stockpile of uranium that had been enriched to 20%, well above the 5% level needed for power generation but still below the level for developing a nuclear weapon.
In addition, the deal mandated that Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and "dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%," according to a White House fact sheet issued in November after the initial agreement was reached.
Zarif accused the Obama administration of creating a false impression with such language............................"
The Tyrant ROUTINELY lies to the American people.
And the whoring, treasonous, hated, EXEMPT US Congress
LOVES him for it.
As the Iranian scientists “tease the dragon’s tail” they may get a surprise they had not counted on.
Fried Crispy Critters on a Glass Parking Lot.
Even if the Republicans take over the senate the Democrats will filibuster any sanctions bill.
Will Democrats really go back to the old scare tactic they used against Goldwater (successfully) and Reagan (unsuccessfully) that Republicans will cause war? They are really desperate.
Maybe we’ll see bumper stickers with “Vote Democrat for the Ayatollahs!”
Hopefully this is becoming apparent to more people.
Actually, the last thing I’d want to see after Harry Reid running the Senate....is for McConnell to run the Senate. Frankly, McConnell needs to go...as does McCain.
There is no near agreement as long as those centrifuges are up and running.
This is a horrible pickle. I wish Obama would shut his mouth. If Obama starts saying something like “Well you guys give the Republicans the Senate, McCain is going to want to go to war with Iran”. That would be horrible for Republicans. I have no doubt that McCain would want this if we get the Senate. Obama needs to shut the heck up about this NOW!!!!!! OR we need to have Republicans come out and say that we won’t go to war with Iran. The population does not want another war. I know that much and that includes many conservatives.
Time for tem limits
OH, NOES!!!!!! Iran, Satan’s most influential empire, is going to tell us how to vote?????? OH, NOES!!!!!!
I don’t think the Rats have a thing to worry about. The GOPe will not win the Senate this year because Chinless is kicking the Tea Partiers out.
One more reason to vote for the Republicans.
But wait, President Rouhani vehemently declares there has been no agreement. Who do we believe? :)
That is a true winner, the cartoon I mean.
Who is the fool that believes that any agreement with Iran will be lived up to by Iran?
Iran has no such concerns for Obama, because they both hate Israel and America.
The Post report reads, "A US official close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said both men are disturbed over what is being perceived in their inner circle as 'Jewish activism in Congress' that they think is being encouraged by the Israeli government, Israel Radio reported on Thursday............."
Israeli secret service ping..ooops oh no mr bill
The mooselahs don’t care about no stinking agreement, silly infidel agreements are for the blind and weak.
hee hee hee
“Republican Senate takeover could kill Iran nuclear agreement”........
Yet another reason to vote the repubs in. Odumbo and his ilk were sooooooo screwed when they signed that so called “agreement”, it, along with odumbo’s group needs trash canning.
Best news I have heard today! All this agreement has done is to give iran what they want. In the best light iran has beat obama and kerry like a drum, in the worst it is just obama doing his masters bidding.
It's time for the world to see the 'agreement'... If we're going to die for it we have the right to see it.
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