Nuclear weapons, Iran, non-proliferation | Homeland Security Newswire

Iran dealIran nuclear deal close to clearing last hurdle as more Senate Democrats announce support

Published 2 September 2015

The nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran is about to clear the last political obstacle to its implementation after two more Senate Democrats announced they would support the deal. Their support means that the Obama administration is just one senator short of having the required 34 votes in the Senate to sustain a presidential veto, which will follow the rejection of the deal by the Republican majority in the chamber. The president may yet not need to use the veto at all. With the growing number of Democrats coming out to support the Iran deal, there is a possibility that the Republican majority in the Senate – at fifty-four Senators — may fall short of even passing a vote of disapproval: Sixty senators would be required bring debate to a close and pass the motion of disapproval, meaning that if forty-one Democrats come out in support of the deal, the president will not have to use the veto at all.

The nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran is about to clear the last political obstacle to its implementation after two more Senate Democrats announced they would support the deal. Their support means that the Obama administration is just one senator short of having enough votes in the Senate to sustain a presidential veto which will follow the rejection of the deal by the Republican majority in the chamber.

The Washington Post reports that Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who was viewed as a swing vote, on Tuesday became the 32nd Democrat to voice his support for the deal.

“I believe that this is better for our security and better for Israel’s security, without a doubt, short term and long term,” Casey told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Casey’s support was not a sure thing, as he faced an intense, $1.3 million anti-deal advertising campaign on Philadelphia’s television networks in the past three months. Pro-deal groups also used TV ads to try and sway public opinion, but their campaign was dwarfed by that of opponents of the deal.

The decision to supporting the deal, Casey said, was “one of the most difficult decisions of my public career,” Casey said.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware also announced his support for the deal on Tuesday – in a speech and in a Washington Post interview.

“I will support this agreement and vote against any measures to disapprove of it in Congress,” Coons said, after offering a long list of concerns he still had about the deal.

“It puts us on a known path of limiting Iran’s nuclear program for the next fifteen years with the full support of the international community. The alternative to me is a scenario of uncertainty and likely isolation.”

“I will support this agreement despite its flaws because it is the better strategy for the United States to lead a coalesced global community in containing the spread of nuclear weapons,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was confident that by the weekend the White House would reach the key number of thirty-four senators, which is required to prevent Congress from overriding a presidential veto.

“The numbers in Congress are looking pretty close to favoring the president,” he told students at Johns Hopkins University.