The Iran Deal was recently endorsed by dozens of retired generals and admirals in an open letter recently which characterized the deal as “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. ” The Washington Post reported that gaining international support for military action against Iran, should that ever become necessary, “would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance.”
Senior military officers were joined by 29 scientists, ranging from nuclear scientists to Nobel prize winners, stating that “We consider that the [agreement] the United States and its partners negotiated with Iran will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and can serve as a guidepost for future non-proliferation agreements.”
Public opinion polls have been spun by both sides like the WaPo’s poll claiming wide public support while the more right leaning Washington Times claims it is a “tough sell” to voters. Far less ambiguous is the trouble that Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama have had selling the deal to Congress. Presently, a motion disapproving of the deal is expected to pass through the GOP controlled Congress easily, but President Obama is expected to veto it. The open question remains whether the President’s Democratic allies in Congress can sustain a veto by preventing 2/3 of both the House and the Senate to overrule it.
A high profile defection against the deal by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is also the incoming leader of the Senate Democrats after Harry Reid retires, has made it difficult in the Senate for the President to get to 34 votes in the Senate, although according to the latest update by Politico, the House Democrats are far more united in being able to hold the wall. Congress must get two thirds in both the House and the Senate to override the deal.
If anything, this fight demonstrates the need for Democrats to win both the White House as well as Congress. Had the Democrats hung onto the Senate last November, the Democrats could have prevented a vote altogether.