US democrats block effort to kill nuclear deal

Handing major foreign policy victory to President Barack Obama, Republican-backed effort to terminate Iran nuclear agreement blocked in US Senate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Sep 11, 2015

An effort backed by the Republicans to abolish the Iran nuclear agreement was blocked in the United States Senate on Thursday, handing a major foreign policy victory to President Barack Obama.

The obstruction included forty-two democrats and independents, which meant opponents of the agreement could not receive the 60 votes required in the 100-member chamber to proceed with a resolution of disapproval of the pact.  

Democrats said the vote terminated efforts of the congress under the Republican control  to derail the nuclear pact between six world powers and Tehran.

If the opponents of the agreement had passed such a resolution, Obama would have been barred from waiving many US sanctions on Iran, which is a crucial point of the nuclear deal.

However, the Senate's Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell said, "We'll revisit the issue next week and see if maybe any folks want to change their minds," taking steps to clear the way for another Senate vote on the matter.

The bills that the House voted strictly along party lines to clear the way for discussion on Thursday will not have a direct effect on the nuclear pact.

One of the three measures is a resolution finding that Obama has not complied with the Iran nuclear review act while the second is a motion of approval of the nuclear deal.

The third of the measures is to seek to suspend Obama's right to waive sanctions.

On Wednesday, Republicans brought the plan for the three votes after a rebellion by some of the party's most strict lawmakers postponed a vote on a resolution of objections to the nuclear deal.

Congress has a 60-day period, the deadline of which is on September 17, to pass a resolution disapproving of the international agreement under a law Obama signed in May.

TRTWorld and agencies