The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Corker-Mendendez Iran Nuclear Review Act, which gives Congress a say in any final deal with Iran. But now some Senate Republicans are trying to kill the bill, and possibly any deal with Iran, by adding inappropriate amendments. That's why AIPAC is urging the Senate to defeat these amendments. Thus far, thanks to Senate Democrats and a few Senate Republicans who put country above party, the amendments have been defeated.
These amendments appeal to our emotions. But the immediate goal is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. If Iran would agree to a deal turning the mullahs into angels, I'd be the first to support it. That's not going to happen. Precisely because Iran is an evil, untrustworthy regime, we need to focus on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and the best way to achieve that goal is a negotiated, verifiable agreement.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted for the terrorism poison pill amendment, which was defeated thanks to eight Republican votes (but not Kirk's, who voted with his party). Kirk also voted with his party for the Johnson amendment, which was defeated thanks to 12 Republicans who had the courage to vote against their party.
Those of us who understand what this deal is about understand why these Republican amendments are so unnecessary and potentially harmful. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew fully answered recent concerns about the Iran deal. Both links are worth printing out and reading.
Anyone who think that the military option is off the table must not have heard Biden say on Thursday that the U.S. was willing to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
But war should be the last resort. The only risk to the AIPAC-supported Corker-Menendez bill is that Republicans will kill it with these over the top amendments. Democrats are supporting this compromise bill. Please call your Republican senators and urge them to put country before party.