The Obama administration is moving forward with the Iran nuclear deal. After losing a final vote on Thursday, Senate Republicans were forced to concede defeat. Not one to waste time implementing unpopular decisions, President Obama vowed to issue waivers suspending all U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Oct. 18.
Senate Republicans were not aiming to simply tear up the deal, as the Democratic opposition has accused. Thursday’s proposal would have barred any waivers unless Iran acknowledged Israel as a country and released four American prisoners it is holding. Although Iran will make over 100 billion dollars and be allowed access to international weapons markets as a result of this deal, Senate Democrats felt freeing the four American hostages to be reunited with their families was too much to ask for.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the Democrats had “made their choice and would be as responsible as Obama for a deal that would allow billions of dollars to flow into Iranian coffers to use for terrorism.”
The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani are reacting to the deal’s completion in radically different ways.
“We have announced that we will not negotiate with the Americans on any issue other than the nuclear case,” Mr. Khamenei said this month. Speaking to a group of hard-line students recently he was even more explicit, telling them to “prepare for the continuation of the fight against America.”
By contast, Mr. Rouhani called the deal “a beginning for creating an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation with various countries.”
Only time will tell which vision will come into fruition. In the mean time, Israel and four American hostages will be forced to pay the price for such “friendship and cooperation.”