The Obama administration has struggled for weeks to convince lawmakers to take a stance in either supporting or opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. However, three Democratic senators have now announced their support for the measure, possibly leading to more support from other on-the-fence politicians in the future.
The latest support comes from Democratic Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia, retiring Barbara Boxer of California and Bill Nelson of Florida. Considered “rank-and-file” Democrats in that they typically support President Barack Obama’s agenda without objection, their support stands in sharp contrast to opposition from Republicans and other Democrats who object to the immediate sanctions relief that Iran will receive, the 24 day waiting period before inspectors can observe the nation’s nuclear energy facilities and the secret side deals that Iran has made with the United Nations that have not involved discussions with the United States, The Washington Post noted.
In a speech on the Senate floor Aug. 3, Kaine used the Obama administration’s talking points to explain his support of the deal.
The deal is “far preferable to any other alternative, including war,” he said. “America has honored its best traditions and shown that patient diplomacy can achieve what isolation and hostility cannot.”
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Both Boxer and Nelson represent large populations of Jewish-American constituents and Boxer is just one of 10 Jewish Senators currently serving in Congress. However, she also used similar rhetoric to Obama and Kaine, saying that the deal is “the only viable alternative to war with Iran.”
The three senators were reportedly swayed by a recent meeting with ambassadors and other congressional Democrats. Among the main subjects discussed were the ramifications if Iran’s sanctions are not removed immediately or if the deal falls through altogether.
“It was very important to hear from them that they believed if we walked away, it would play right into the hands of the hard-liners in Iran, Iran would build a nuclear weapon, they’d have lots of money from everybody else but America, and it’d be a very dangerous situation,” Boxer added.
Eight Democratic senators – Richard Durbin of Illinois, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Dianne Feinstein of California, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and now Boxer, Kaine and Nelson – are the only Senate Democrats to publicly state their support for the deal thus far. While lawmakers are currently on summer recess, the Iran deal will likely be one of the chamber’s main priorities upon returning to the nation’s capital in September.