On September 2, the United States’ support for the Iran nuclear deal was secured. President Barack Obama’s team negotiated the deal along with other countries of the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Germany). The Republicans in the U.S. Congress had threatened to pass a resolution that would block Obama’s signature on such a deal. Obama had said he would veto any Bill that constrained his hand to sign that deal. He needed 34 Senators to back him in order to secure his veto. When Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland said she would support the President, the deal was safe.
Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., told me that Barbara Mikulski’s vote was “a big relief”. She said that the Iran deal was “a huge victory for diplomacy over the real threat of war with Iran”. Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council agreed. Obama, they said, “has proven to the U.S. that security is better achieved through diplomacy than through militarism”. Emad Kiyaei of the American Iranian Council told me just after Barbara Mikulski’s announcement: “There is no ‘better’ deal and the opposition has not introduced a viable alternative, except more coercive policies that to date have not slowed—rather accelerated—Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Read the rest of this entry »