News & Politics

Bipartisan Majority in Congress Slaps Down Biden on Iran Deal

Bipartisan Majority in Congress Slaps Down Biden on Iran Deal
(AP Photo/Iranian TV via APTN)

A bipartisan supermajority in Congress voted on Thursday night to require that any nuclear agreement with Iran must also address Iran’s support for terrorism in the region, and that the U.S. should not lift sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


The non-binding resolution also stated that the administration should address Iran’s illegal ballistic missile program and China’s continuing purchases of Iranian oil that evade U.S. sanctions.

It’s unclear whether the Senate would have the opportunity to advise and consent on any deal that is struck as it would a treaty. The original 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) was not presented to the Senate as a treaty and Congress was unable to give a meaningful vote on the agreement.

But Biden may be under considerable pressure from Senate Democrats to allow a vote on the deal. The Democrats know they are vulnerable on this issue and need the cover of a vote to weather what is certain to be fierce Republican attacks.


Lawmakers from both parties said it was a warning shot to Biden’s negotiating team, who have all but acknowledged in private that an agreement that goes beyond curtailing Iran’s nuclear program is no longer possible, according to multiple people familiar with classified Hill briefings on the subject.

The vote was also a preview of the bipartisan rebuke that’s likely to come if the U.S. and Iran clinch an agreement that doesn’t address Iran’s non-nuclear activities and removes the IRGC’s terrorist designation — a “test vote,” in the words of one senator.


Iran wants the sanctions lifted while keeping their terrorist force, the IRGC, and their ever-improving ICBMs that threaten Israel, the Europeans, and soon, the USA.

Barack Obama caved on all of those issues and even paid billions of dollars to ransom American hostages who were being held in Iran. What worked with Obama might work with his underling Biden, reasons the mullahs.

But getting Congress to go along won’t be that easy this time.

“It is a strong expression of sentiment about where we’re at with Iran and the concern that members of the Senate have with Iran’s trajectory here as it relates to its march toward a nuclear weapon — and what we try to do to prevent it,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who wasn’t present for Wednesday’s vote but would have supported the measure. Menendez opposed the 2015 nuclear deal under Barack Obama’s administration.

“At the end of the day,” he added, “I think it’s a pretty strong statement.”

Yes, but that’s all it is. Statements are not policy and Democrats can afford to appear tough in an election year. But whose side will they be on when push comes to shove and Biden puts the screws to his party’s senators to vote to consent to the nuclear deal with Iran?


Then, all their tough talk about holding Iran to account for terrorism and curtailing their illegal and ever-more dangerous ballistic missile program melts away in the hot winds of partisan politics and Biden will have another flawed deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.

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