Republicans and Democrats split over Iran nuclear deal
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULJul 15, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Jul 15, 2015 12:00 am
The United States Congress is split along party lines over the Iran nuclear deal, Euronews reported on Wednesday. While Republicans harshly criticized the deal reached Tuesday, Democrats call it the most effective path for the U.S. to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said the deal ensured Iran will become a nuclear power, adding that the Iranians "don't want a power plant" but "a bomb" instead.
Graham suggested that sanctions prevented Tehran from being able to produce a nuclear weapon. The economic windfall from the deal will be about $18 billion under the deal, according to the senator who said the money will be used to drive aggression. "They're going to put it in their war machine," he said.
The seemingly collective rejection of the deal by Republicans is a cause for concern for Hardin Lang, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
"Once you actually have an agreement in place, then you have some level of supervision, but what would happen realistically with a Republican administration is the bar for what they define as a violation of the agreement - there's a grey space or defined room - that bar would be at its very highest," he told Anadolu Agency. "Anything would trip a concerted response to pressure Iran, to threaten to re-impose sanctions. To the extent that there is some gray room there, you'd see a much more reasonable understanding and interpretation of the agreement by a future Democratic administration."
Lang's assessment is supported by remarks about the deal by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who said it was a "dangerous, deeply flawed, and shortsighted" package. Bush holds that the agreement, considered the most restrictive ever imposed on a country's nuclear program, does not go far enough.
"A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon - not simply delay - its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability," he said, according to the media reports. Those comments closely resemble that of Sen. Marco Rubio, a staunch critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy moves.
"It will then be left to the next president to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security," said the senator, who also strongly criticized the Obama administration's rapprochement with Cuba.
On the other hand, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said it is one of the most effective paths for the U.S. to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In a lengthy statement released late Tuesday, Clinton said she supported "the agreement because it can help us prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon." But she warned it would need strict enforcement, underscoring the tension between President Barack Obama's foreign policy legacy and the White House aspirations of his first secretary of state.
But with all the opposition to the deal, the words may ultimately prove to be just that, as it is not likely that there are enough votes in Congress to override a presidential veto - a measure Obama warned he would take to kill any legislation that might undermine the agreement.
Congress has 60 days to review the details of the deal. Historically, in less than 10 percent of cases, Congress overrides a presidential veto.