On Tuesday, the White House upped its support of the nuclear deal to 42 senators, as four Senate Democrats—Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan, Maria Cantwell of Washington, and Ron Wyden of Oregon— announced their backing. As a result, Senate Democrats can effectively filibuster a resolution of disapproval and block it from coming to a final vote.
The support of 42 senators is a meaningful development for the White House and a positive step toward resolving the nuclear issue. It was achieved due to the work of an administration committed to a peaceful resolution to the issue as well as the efforts of many groups, including the AIC, supporting the agreement. Nevertheless, all of the Senate Republicans, a few Senate Democrats, and all of the Republican presidential candidates have expressed their rejection of the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As a result, it is unfortunate that this important foreign policy achievement has become a partisan and controversial issue. Future US administrations could even undo the work that American, Iranian, and other diplomats meticulously achieved over the course of many months. Furthermore, the implementation phase will prove particularly tricky, as a conflict could arise either in terms of sanctions removal or on Iran’s nuclear program.
A divided Washington does not augur well for the JCPOA in the coming years; a much stronger, bipartisan support of the deal would send a message to the Iranians and the world that the US stands behind the deal that took almost two years to carve out. Republican presidential candidates announcing their support would show that the deal has longevity. Nevertheless, with the support of 42 senators and the administration, the deal can greatly benefit both the US and Iran. The key determinant of whether the JCPOA falls apart or is upheld rests on dutiful implementation by both sides. The AIC, which has always opposed sanctions, war and coercion, strongly believes that the US must make good on its promise to lift sanctions listed in the JCPOA. Similarly, Iran must diligently adhere to the concessions on its nuclear program outlined in the program in order to ensure the international community that its nuclear program remains strictly for peaceful purposes.
With a dutiful implementation on both sides, this historical nuclear deal could be used an opportunity to pivot toward achieving the mission that the American Iranian Council has pursued for 25 years: normalized US-Iran relations.
The American Iranian Counci