All 54 Republicans in the US Senate will vote against ratification of the Iran nuclear pact negotiated between Tehran and the P6 nations. They’ll need 13 Democrats to vote with them and the deal is effectively stillborn. Democratic senator Chuck Schumer could deliver the Republicans the votes they need.
Israeli prime minister Netanyahu has shamelessly lobbied Congress to reject the deal, arguing it leaves Israel in peril. No surprise there. But what if Netanyahu gets his way and his US minions sabotage the deal? James Traub from the Center for International Cooperation says failure at this point could wreck relations between Israel and the Democrats for a generation to come.
Netanyahu threw down the gauntlet with the Obama administration a long time ago; perhaps he thinks he has nothing left to lose. But that’s almost certainly not true. If 13 Democrats heed the Israeli siren song and the nuclear deal collapses, only a fantasist can believe that Iran will come back for a new and harsher deal or that the United Nations and the European Union will hang tough on sanctions. Instead, Iranian centrifuges will start spinning once again, while Pakistani scientists carrying nuclear blueprints will make clandestine visits to Saudi Arabia. Netanyahu will then take the game one step further by calling for airstrikes against Iranian facilities. If he succeeds — which I doubt — Americans will never forgive Israel for its role in a catastrophic decision.
Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that he is perfectly prepared to pay that price. Can Chuck Schumer say the same? I would suggest that his higher obligation would be to protect Israel from its own worst instincts.
…if Congress overrides Obama’s veto — thus destroying the signal foreign-policy achievement of his tenure, humiliating the president before the world, and triggering a race for nuclear weapons capacity in Iran and across the Middle East — …Democrats will blame Netanyahu and Israel. And it won’t just be the American left, which already regards Israel as an occupying power. The fraying relationship between Israel and the Democratic Party will come apart altogether. Pro-Israel Democrats like Hillary Clinton will have to begin calculating how high a price they’re prepared to pay for their continued support.
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