U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) gives a speech announcing he will not support President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal at Seton Hall University on August 18, 2015 in South Orange, New Jersey.
The agreement would require Iran to dismantle most of its nuclear program for at least a decade in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from worldwide sanctions.
Obama has pledged to veto such a resolution of disapproval, so the question has turned to whether Congress could muster the votes to override him, in what would be a stinging, bipartisan vote of no-confidence against the president.
Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, said in a statement quoted on his website that Tehran would block any US attempt to influence Iran despite the reaching of the historic deal.
“These new facts only underscore the unsafe concessions the administration made to Iran in their desperate push to cut a deal at any cost”, Scalise said.
“If the United States does not follow through with this multilateral agreement, it would not only damage our nation’s global leadership, but result in a much more nuclear-capable Iran free to proceed as they wish without the thorough oversight this agreement allows”, he warned. There is one notable defection so far – New York’s Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate and the party leader-in-waiting.
Above all else, Menendez outlined what Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly claim the deal’s critics lack: a credible alternative and “a pathway to a better deal”.
Obama has the option to veto any resolution the Republican-led Congress passes to temporarily halt a move forward on the Iran deal. Menendez is a Democrat who nearly without exception supports the administration, and who voted against the Iraq war.
But elsewhere in the Senate Democratic caucus, members have been lining up to offer their support for the deal. Opponents of the deal would need 67 votes to override a presidential veto of legislation voiding the pact. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who had been heavily lobbied by the White House, announced he would oppose the deal, and Sen.
The administration has warned that rejecting the deal would cause the rest of the world to back away from supporting US sanctions on Iran, leaving the US less influential and Iran emboldened. He noted that he voted against President George W. Bush’s military campaign even as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden voted for it. Menendez emphasized that he’s been a reliable supporter of Obama, voting with the president 98 percent of the time, a rate of support the senator joked his own grandmother didn’t receive.