Presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich said on Wednesday that he would take a wait-and-see approach to the Iran nuclear deal, arguing that if Tehran is found to be aiding Hezbollah and Hamas then the United States could “slap the sanctions back on”.
The Vienna agreement must guarantee the civil and peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program by preventing it to acquire the atomic bomb, in exchange for a gradual and conditional lifting of worldwide sanctions imposed on the country since 2006.
To be enacted, that resolution would have had to pass both the Senate and House of Representatives by midnight on September 17. Republicans this week made last-ditch, but largely symbolic, efforts to try to prevent the deal from going forward even as they admit they can not overturn it but only offer legal challenges to it. “The super-majority now required to advance legislation is 60 votes, which is not serving our country well”.
Three days of Senate speeches and the vote last Thursday related to the Iran nuclear agreement presented ideal examples of why – according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll – 64 percent of adults think the American political system is dysfunctional and 72 percent say most people in politics can not be trusted.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said that while he supports releasing hostages and Iran supporting Israel, “should a whole agreement be based on those two items?”
And, as the 60-day period which Congress had to study the deal expired without skeptical lawmakers having been able to derail it, Obama dropped in to the State Department to congratulate the team.
Shortly before that vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tried to send through an amendment designed to pressure Democrats into choosing between the implementation of the Iran deal and their loyalty to Israel and Americans imprisoned in Iran.
In the end, the Senate will probably not vote directly on approval or disapproval of the agreement, and Republicans and Democrats can blame each other for the confusing result.
McConnell and other Republican leaders have defended the series of votes they laid out this week, arguing they were justified in the face of a filibuster from Democrats. Egypt submitted the proposal to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog; among those in support were Syria, Iran, Libya and Iraq.
Like in past years, Arab states, backed by Iran and many nonaligned nations, forced a vote on their resolution expressing “concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities” and urging the Jewish state to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“This is not legally binding beyond the presidency of Barack Obama“, said Cornyn.
The Iran nuclear deal calls for the demilitarization of Iran’s nuclear weapons by transforming their main nuclear facility into a research center.
He said his vote on the deal would be “the most consequential vote I will ever take as an elected official”.