Washington, DC – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the decision by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) to vote to oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran:
“Senator Cardin’s decision to vote against the Iran deal is unconscionable. The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is voting on the same side as Dick Cheney.
“If Congress succeeds in voting down the deal, it would be devastating to U.S. interests and global leadership. Perhaps Cardin believes this is a free vote now that a sufficient number of his colleagues are supporting the deal to uphold a Presidential veto. Apparently the plan is for Congress to vote to take the U.S. to the brink of disaster and hope the President will bail them out with a veto.
“Cardin helped write the legislation to give Congress a review and promoted it as a means to provide an orderly process for lawmakers to have a role. Now he plans to oppose the deal and introduce further legislation that, depending on the final language, could risk killing the agreement.
“We would advise lawmakers to exercise serious caution regarding any proposed legislation that could unravel the deal or call into question U.S. commitments. Jeopardizing the implementation of the deal does not provide political cover, it undermines the entire point of voting for it. Congress needs to give the nuclear deal a chance to actually work. Political cover cannot come at the expense of helping kill the deal.
“We now know that Iran’s supreme leader has called on the Majles to hold its own vote on the deal–which is an option provided to them under Iran’s constitution but which Iran’s president had hoped to avoid. There is a real danger in starting a tit-for-tat between hardliners in each country’s respective legislative bodies that could unravel the agreement.
“We call on all supporters of diplomacy to prevent a rejection of the deal and to restrain their fellow lawmakers who are perhaps more interested in returning the two countries to a path of confrontation. It’s not just about letting the agreement pass, it’s about making it last. Three more votes are needed to block a resolution of disapproval and help sustain this critical diplomatic achievement.”
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