This morning, the Obama administration clinched sufficient support for the Iran nuclear deal, as Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced that she would support the deal. Mikulski is now the 34th senator to come out in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As a result, should Obama veto a Senate disapproval of the deal, his veto would effectively be sustained. If the White House is able to secure the support of seven additional senators, Senate Democrats could launch a filibuster, in which case the resolution would never leave the Senate and Obama would not need to use his veto.
The support of 34 senators is a meaningful achievement and a positive step toward resolving the nuclear issue. Still, the road ahead is bumpy and much work remains. It is particularly unfortunate that such an important foreign policy achievement has become a partisan issue, with Republicans in the Congress lining up against the deal. Future US administrations could even undo the work that diplomats from the P5+1 meticulously achieved. Moreover, disputes could arise in the implementation phase either on the sanctions removal side or on the nuclear program.
For these reasons and more, the American Iranian Council has long maintained that the only way to sustainably resolve the nuclear issue is to deal with the core issue of mistrust between the United States and Iran. A peaceful nuclear resolution must be used as an opportunity to pivot toward the other regional issues in which the two countries hold strategic interests. While we support a negotiated settlement to the nuclear issue, we proudly do so with the goal of normalizing US-Iran relations in mind. Resolving the thorny nuclear issue would remove one of the major roadblocks to a broader rapprochement that would pay dividends to both sides. With the United States and Iran both facing multiple crises in the Middle East, it is simply not enough for the two sides to agree to a limited nuclear deal. Both must get past their mistrust, reconcile their enmity, and work toward a more stable, prosperous, safer Middle East on the basis of mutual respect.
The AIC has been engaged in US-Iran relations since 1990 with this mission in mind. We are organizing conferences, making media appearances, issuing statements, drafting articles, and engaging with key decision makers on both sides. Show your support for our efforts and the goal of normalized US-Iran relations by making a 100% tax-deductible contribution.
The American Iranian Council