It was a done deal days earlier – though Republican machinations may delay its implementation. Obama got enough Senate Democrat support to block a Republican opposition resolution.
The procedural motion fell two votes short of the 60 supermajority needed to invoke cloture – the process to end debate and bring a measure to a vote.
Senate Republicans won’t quit. Majority whip John Cornyn (R. TX) said “(i)t will be all Iran next week. There are going to be more votes. There will be other opportunities for people to change their mind next week, hopefully after they hear from their constituents.”
House Republicans declined to vote on a disapproval resolution, intending new schemes to undermine a done deal, maintain sanctions on Iran and impose tougher ones.
They passed a measure declaring Obama out of compliance with the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) – giving Congress final say up or down on the deal, stating the 60-day clock on approval or rejected didn’t start because of alleged noncompliance with full disclosure of all deal documents, a thinly veiled stunt to obstruct and delay.
Anti-Iranian hostility continues. “This debate is far from over, and frankly, it’s just beginning,” said Speaker John Boehner. “We will use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented.”
Legal action is “an option that’s very possible. If you read (INARA) provisions, it’s pretty clear that the president has not complied” – despite no corroborating evidence.
After Thursday’s Senate vote, AIPAC issued a duplicitous statement, warning about “a dangerous moment for America and our allies.”
“Congress and the executive branch must now maintain constant vigilance concerning Iranian compliance with the deal and be ready to move quickly against any Iranian effort to advance its nuclear quest,” it claimed.
Its multi-million dollar anti-Iranian propaganda campaign fell short. It failed to get enough Senate support. Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks shamelessly said “(t)his vote shows that most Democrats (stood) with Obama over the American people and Israel.”
The sad reality is that a dividing line has opened showing that too many Democrats can no longer be counted on as stalwart defenders of Israel.
Republican hardliners may take legal action as Boehner suggested – a stunt with virtually no chance to succeed, claiming Obama violated INARA’s Section 2.
Within five days of reaching an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, it requires him to “transmit to Congress:
- the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes;
- a related verification assessment report of the Secretary of State;
- a certification that the agreement includes the appropriate terms, conditions, and duration of the agreement’s requirements concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, and provisions describing any sanctions to be waived, suspended, or otherwise reduced by the United States and any other nation or entity, including the United Nations; and
- a certification that the agreement meets US non-proliferation objectives, does not jeopardize the common defense and security, provides a framework to ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will not constitute an unreasonable defense and security risk, and ensures that Iran’s permitted nuclear activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including any related research.”
Republicans claim nonexistent Iran-IAEA side agreements weren’t disclosed to Congress. INARA stipulates the 60-day congressional review period doesn’t begin until all documents related to the Iran nuclear deal are transmitted to Congress.”
On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said “we’ve been clear that the documentation (sent to Congress) included all the documentation that was in the possession of the United States government.”
Deal or no deal, longstanding anti-Iranian hostility continues. Regime change is official US policy, Washington wanting puppet governance it controls replacing Tehran’s sovereign independence.
Its struggle for normalized Western relations continues. It justifiably wants all sanctions unconditionally removed, its legitimate rights respected, its full acceptance into the community of nations – an end to 36 years of unacceptable ostracism.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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