Three top ranking Democratic Senators made their stances on the American led international deal with Iran. Democrat Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island backed the agreement and Senator Robert Menendez has strongly disagreed with it.
Senator Reed who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee has announced his support for the Iran nuclear deal and was later joined by Senator Whitehouse. According to Reuters, the Senators backing the deal said that if Congress was to disapprove the Iran nuclear deal, America would be making a dangerous strategic mistake.
However, Senator Robert Menendez, the former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman has expressed a strong opposition of the deal and announced that he would vote for the disapproval of the deal and, if necessary, a vote for overriding a Presidential veto, that President Barack Obama has vowed to declare if Congress gets enough support for the resolution of disapproval.
According to Reuters he said “I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto by the President”, while making a speech in New Jersey. He expressed concerns on the question that Republican legislators have been pushing, on not being hard enough on Iran and making it a one-sided agreement. Being a strong supporter of Israel and after allegations of corruption in early 2015, he decided not to back Obama on the Iran agreement. According o Reuters, he said “We should authorize now the means for Israel to address the Iranian threat on their own in the event that Iran accelerates its program and counter Iranian perceptions that our own threat to use force is not credible.” He added that the Obama administration must sit back at the negotiating table and rework the deal.
According to Reuters, the White House has remained on its agenda on calling for support for the deal and these developments with Democrats announcing support and opposition does not change the White House plans. A senior Obama administration official said “The strategy is the exact same today as it was yesterday. Also, the non-partisan Arms Control Association said on Tuesday that 70 nuclear non-proliferation experts stated support for the deal, describing it as “a strong, long-term and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.”
The historic deal was signed on the 14th of July by five global powers led by the United States and allows relief of United Nations economic sanctions to Iran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear power program.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is set to vote on the 17th of September, after the Congress recess, on a resolution of disapproval by a majority of Republican legislators that oppose the Iran deal.