Diplomacy Wins: Senate Dems Block Attempt to Derail Iran Nuclear Deal

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Diplomacy Wins: Senate Dems Block Attempt to Derail Iran Nuclear Deal

"This vote should settle the debate once and for all that this is a good deal."

The Iran nuclear support garnered support from anti-war and civil society groups in the United States, Iran, and around the world. (Photo: Medea Benjamin/Twitter)

In a major victory for diplomacy, peace, and U.S. President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats blocked an attempt to derail the nuclear agreement between Iran, the United States, and five other world powers.

In a vote of 58-42, the Democratic and independent senators backing the deal stopped Republicans from reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to advance a resolution to reject the six-nation nuclear accord.

The development ensures that the landmark nuclear deal—which would lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limits on its domestic nuclear program for at least a decade—will take effect without a veto showdown between Congress and the White House.

And as The Hill noted, it marks "a major political victory" for Obama, who "personally lobbied Democrats to support the deal, arguing it offered the best chance to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon over the next decade."  

As CNN reported Thursday afternoon, "While Senate Republicans are considering a revote on the measure next week to put additional pressure on Democrats, and the House has also planned several votes against the deal, sufficient congressional support has been secured for its implementation."

According to the Associated Press, Obama will be free to start scaling back U.S. sanctions as soon as next week. 

Anti-war and civil society groups backing the deal, who faced a well-funded opposition campaign led by hawkish lawmakers, AIPAC, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were triumphant in the wake of the vote.

"This is a stunning victory for supporters of peace and diplomacy," NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi said in a statement. "This vote should settle the debate once and for all that this is a good deal. The Iran nuclear agreement was subjected to a massive multi-million dollar campaign against it, it has been scrutinized in countless hearings and forums, it was put to an unprecedented vote in Congress, and it has stood up to every single test. Instead of revisiting this vote or re-litigating the terms of the deal, it is now time to focus on implementing the agreement and doubling down on diplomacy rather than militarism."

While heralding the news as an opportunity "to advance a more progressive foreign policy," Win Without War's David Cortright warned that supporters are "not so naïve as to think that the agreement is now safe."

"Its opponents have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to scuttle this victory and put our nation on the path to yet another war in the Middle East," he continued. "We are therefore committed to vigilance and action should the architects of the Iraq war try to undermine this agreement and push us into war with Iran. Congressional Democrats should continue to defend the agreement and to challenge backdoor legislation to undermine or poison the deal."

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