U.S. Senate Democrats blocked legislation meant to kill the Iran nuclear deal for a third time on Thursday, securing perhaps the greatest foreign policy of President Barack Obama’s six years in office and clearing the way for the agreement’s implementation.
By a vote of 56-42, the Republican-majority Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed in the 100-member chamber to advance the legislation as all but four of Obama’s fellow Democrats backed the nuclear pact announced in July.
With no more Senate votes planned this week, the result ensured that Congress will not pass a resolution of disapproval that would have crippled the agreement by eliminating Obama’s ability to waive many U.S. sanctions.
It is difficult to believe that we have given the Iranians a clear pathway to building nuclear weapons, pledged ourselves to protect their efforts, and received nothing in exchange but, to coin a phrase, “peace in our time.”
What Obama did, and it beggars the imagination to believe it was accidental, was make Iran the pre-eminent power in the Middle East. It has set off an arms race that will inevitably result in Turkey and Saudi Arabia becoming nuclear powers. It increases rather than decreases the chances of war. It strengthens the Tehran regime and weakens any democracy movement.
This is a shameful day without parallel in American history.
But all may not be lost:
How the opposing visions are ultimately resolved may be uncertain, but as the nuclear pact is carried out and the sanctions are lifted, Iran’s favorite scapegoat can no longer plausibly be regarded as the root of all evil in the world.
“Our Great Satan without sanctions is just not the same anymore,” said Saeed Laylaz, an economist and supporter of Mr. Rouhani. “Perhaps we should use ‘lesser Satan’ now or something like that.”