Iran sanctions bill moves toward veto-proof majority in Senate
January 10th, 2014
12:54 PM ET

Iran sanctions bill moves toward veto-proof majority in Senate

By Jim Sciutto

The Obama administration's efforts to negotiate a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program faces a potential new hurdle as the Senate moves toward a veto-proof majority supporting legislation authorizing new economic sanctions on Iran.
The bipartisan proposal introduced by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, now has 59 senators who have formally committed to support it, a senior Senate aide tells CNN.


But the aide said that the current informal count is even higher - at 77 yes votes - and that more are expected to come on board once the undecided are forced to vote.
The bill could come to the Senate floor for consideration during the week of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on January 28 or the following week, the aide said.
The proposal would give Obama more than a year to engage in further diplomacy before any new sanctions would kick in against Iran's oil exports and other key areas of its economy. Sanctions would hit sooner if Iran cheats on the interim deal or fails to reach a final accord.
The administration has threatened to veto the legislation if Congress were to approve it now, saying new sanctions would undermine the delicate efforts to forge a lasting deal with Iran.
"Our strong concern is that passage of sanctions at this time would negatively affect and perhaps scuttle the negotiations that are underway and then make it much harder, if not impossible, to achieve our objective peacefully, " White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday.
In November, six world powers, including the United States, struck an interim deal to limit its nuclear activities in return for a relaxation of sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Envoys from Iran and the European Union have been meeting this week in Switzerland about how to implement that deal.

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Marisa

    It's a bipartisan proposal supported by Democrat Menendez and Republican Kirk. This is just how our system works.

    January 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  2. Matt

    That is fair enough legislation passed but not yet enacted. It would have been better if the legislation stayed dormant even if a deal was achieved, so it does not expire after a deal. That way if need it can be enacted quickly without going back to the Hill. The interim deal may be the only deal and no final deal may occur. Iran are not going to stop enrichment and I believe we should not legally endorse it or remove the UN resolution to allow it. If they are not going to stop and the US is not going to greenlight it via removing the UN resolution. The interim deal is the only deal. Temporary sanctions relief but still in violation of the UN resolution to halt all enrichment. It will take years perhaps a decade for Iran to show a change in behaviour and of compliance. Decades of nuclear work done in the shadows will take decades of openness. It all depends on what you think you are buying, a blacksite like Qum can do 3 warheads a year, compared with the overall overt program say about 10 a year. 6 to 8 instead of 60 to 80. They will either dismantle it in another 20 years under the pressure of temporary sanctions relief, or they will have used it. The US knows they will be putting a warhead on an ICBM that can hit the states, so a lot of it is about missile defense. 1 in 3 interceptions are successful. So less warheads more success.

    January 12, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  3. Peter

    If course it's AIPAC, they corrupt politics in the US. It's interesting how dropping bombs on Muslims is "freeing the people" and is not an attack on Muslims. If you dare disagree with anyone who happens a to be Jewish, you are branded as an antisemite. The Jews who died along with my family members in WW2 would be disgusted that you use their suffering to advance your agenda. The American people can only be fooled into wars for so long...

    January 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  4. filerman

    The Senate needs to hit Iran hard with a sanctions bill. Obama's policy has been a disaster – the Iranians, our sworn enemy who have kidnapped and murdered Americans across the world – have one interest, and that is nuclear weapons and regional hegemony. They are dangerous terrorist and we don't reward terrorists with nuclear weapons, which is what Obama's deal does. Any American who supports the mullahs and their murderous regime should automatically lose their citizenship and be kicked out the country as traitors to the US.

    January 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • John McKane

      Such is to be expected from someone like you with your obvious limitations, filerman. You wouldn't be a Tea Party member, would you? At any rate, you posted like one.

      January 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • clark4410

      The people of Iran and the US have the same problem, their goverment sucks!

      January 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  5. SolarMoon

    Sanctions will not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

    January 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  6. jerrylax

    interesting that any of our elected representatives have faith in obama..when our foreign policy is such a failure…in all directions. Time to clean house this fall.

    January 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  7. Brad

    Glad the Senate is being responsible, unlike the President.

    January 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Posted like another dimwitted, hillbilly Tea Partier from the South. Thank you, Brad!

      January 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Brad

        The only dimwitt is you and in so many ways. First, I don't belong to the Tea Party. Second, it's evident to anyone but a severe dimwitt that the only reason Iran keeps enriching uranium is to create nuclear weapons. Only a complete dimwitt would allow the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world and the world's bank for terrorism to continue to enrich uranium with no consequence.

        January 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
  8. George patton

    It appears that the right-wing thugs in Washington are going to get their way on this! This alone shows just how rampant corruption has become in Washington D.C. As Americans, we need to hang our heads in pure shame over this ignominy!!!

    January 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      You should hang your head in shame for wanting to allow the world's biggest supporter of terrorism and the world's bank for terrorism, Iran, continue to develop nuclear weapons with no consequence. It is hillbillies like you who for some reason think terrorists should have nuclear weapons. Good thing the USA Senate is doing the right thing.

      January 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • mazdak

      AIPAC bought these vote.why cnn,cbs,time,...........all these free press ask, who is running our country foreign policy ,president or Mr. Netanyahu ?

      January 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Reply
      • filerman

        Right. AIPAC = Jews. And for anti-Semites like you, Jews control the world right? And the Senate? Do us a favor and crawl back under your rock. If you support Iran and its terrorist mullahs, sworn enemies of the US and murderer of American citizens, you are a traitor to this country.

        January 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
      • mazdak

        yeah , that is classic ,you cannot say anything that condom the racist apartheeid , state of Israel, then u immediately anti-Semites, fascist and.......wake up the only oppressor is the state of Israel and its servant in UNITED STATE congress ,believe me sun will come up one day, you cannot fool all the people all the time.

        January 11, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
  9. Fitemoo

    We, the US, will do what our masters AKA Israel commands us to do. Afterall, we are their obedient servants.

    January 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • mazdak

      why nobody say anything ,isn't our press free?

      January 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  10. Carson Thaler

    The US really needs to back off Iran... We are not making the world a safer place. We are making it more unstable, which evidence is demonstrating to be intentional. Wake up people!!! The US earns her enemies, they don't just happen to her...

    January 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Quite true Carson, quite true indeed! You just about said it all!

      January 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  11. tms5510

    Iran would be the real winner here since it keep all of the nuclear options while the credibility of US will wash away. Russia, China and other countries will see the US as the warmongering and illogical party and make a deal (much better deal for Iran) with Iran and ease or remove most of the sanctions. While US can keep its sanctions or add to them no one will really care.

    January 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • marry

      That's right and that's a shame that people is not important here... Just Israel and the 1% is important to them... then who the hell is US people?

      January 11, 2014 at 1:27 am | Reply

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