Maryland Democrat's support removes fear of veto override for President Obama
President Obama likely will be able to get his Iran nuclear deal past Congress, now that he has the support of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Washington Post reported.
The Democratic from Maryland became the 34th senator to be on board with the international agreement, likely removing the need for Obama to face a veto override vote in the Senate.
“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb,” said Mikulski, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of her term next year. “For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal.”
The agreement that the US, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and Germany struck in July with Tehran trades promises from Iran to destroy centrifuges and dismantle weaponization programs in exchange for a stage-by-stage lifting of crippling sanctions. Iran has always claimed that its nuclear research was solely for nuclear energy.
Critics have complained that at best, the deal only delays Iran’s pathway to becoming a nuclear state, and some worry that after sanctions are lifted, the Islamic Republic will funnel some of the money that returns to the economy into terrorist organizations that pose a direct threat to Israel.
Among the bloc of 43 senators who have declared opposition to the deal, Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander stated last week that the deal “does not sufficiently restrict Iran’s nuclear program and makes no effort to put a brake on its other conduct as the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
“The agreement puts some limits on Iran’s nuclear program, but it also legitimizes it, thereby encouraging a nuclear arms race in the most unstable area of the world,” Alexander stated. “The agreement takes the pressure off Iran at a time when pressure is likely to succeed.”
Meanwhile, some of the toughest anti-American voices in Iran said on Tuesday that the United States remains their country’s top enemy, guilty of “uncountable” crimes, the New York Times reported.
The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, announced plans to expand the reach of Iran’s missiles and warned that despite the nuclear deal, America was still the “same Great Satan.”