Democrats Opposing Iran Deal, while Iran to Claim Victory Either Way

The US congress isn't staying out of Iran talks. US Capitol building. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The US congress isn’t staying out of Iran talks. US Capitol building. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Iran is painting the battle within the US Congress over the nuclear deal between the major world powers and the Islamic Republic as a win-win for Tehran—even if Congress nixes American support for the deal, Iran believes they’ll be victorious. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi made this claim on Sunday, arguing that if Congress withdraws support for the deal, the US will have credibility trouble and potentially miss out on economic improvement—both wins for Iran, a mortal enemy of the US—according to the Fars News Agency.

But while US President Barack Obama may have put the US into a corner where Iran thinks they win either way, a prominent former member of Obama’s own political party is arguing there may still be hope to change the deal with Iran into a better win for the US.

Former US Senator and one-time Democrat vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman urged Democrats to oppose the Iran deal, saying that is the only chance of improving it in an editorial in the Washington Post last Friday.

In a column entitled “Congress should step up to block the terrible Iran agreement”, Lieberman promoted the “courageous” opposition to the Iran deal by current US Senator Chuck Schumer, who is also a member of the Obama-led Democrat Party.

Lieberman pointed out that time and again the Obama administration opposed sanctions on Iran before, making similar arguments that they are today using in supporting the Iran deal, only to back down and work with Congress when Democrats joined Republicans in clear bipartisan support of the sanctions.

Despite the apparent finality of the Iran nuclear deal, Lieberman argued that Iran desperately needs the sanctions relief for its economy and may prove more flexible on “renegotiation and clarification” of the deal if the US pushes for it. Lieberman said that there are reports even some partners in Europe may be ok with a strong stance by Congress.

In fact, even Salehi, while bragging about how Iran would win either way, noted that the Iran nuclear deal is not set in stone, with Fars quoting him as saying the fate of the deal “is not fully clear yet since there is commotion in the US, and the Congress and the US administration have stood up to each other.”

It will take a supermajority from Congress to overcome a likely Obama veto of any demands to change the Iran deal. But with Schumer and Lieberman sounding alarms about the deal from Obama’s own party, things aren’t settled yet.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, August 16, 2015)


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