US President Barack Obama declared “victory” on Thursday after a Senate procedural vote blocked a resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear deal.
Fifty-eight out of 100 senators voted to advance the resolution that would invoke a cloture – a procedure that stops all debate and brings the resolution to a vote. Fifty-four Republicans and four Democrats, all against the deal, voted for cloture, while 40 Democrats and two independent candidates voted against the cloture.
Senators failed to garner the supermajority vote needed, 60 senators, to bring the nuclear deal agreement to a vote on the floor.
While Republican senators promised a re-vote and House Republicans scrambled in pursuit of last minute strategies to block the nuclear agreement, Thursday’s vote signals that a resolution blocking the agreement will not be presented to Obama.
“Today, the Senate took an historic step forward and voted to enable the United States to work with our international partners to enable the implementation of the comprehensive, long-term deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the president said in a statement only minutes after the vote. “This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.”
“For nearly two years, we negotiated from a position of strength to reach an agreement that meets our core objectives. Since we concluded these negotiations, we have had the most consequential national security debate since the decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago,” he continued. “Over the last several weeks, the more members studied the details of this deal, the more they came out in support.”
“Today, I am heartened that so many Senators judged this deal on the merits, and am gratified by the strong support of lawmakers and citizens alike. Going forward, we will turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon, while pursuing a foreign policy that leaves our country — and the world — a safer place,” Obama said.
Following the vote, the Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement, calling the vote a symbol of the “narrow and partisan” support for the Iran deal.
“This vote shows that most Democrats have chosen to stand with President Obama over the American people and Israel. Sadly, the chasm between Republican and Democrat support for our national security and greatest ally has ever been larger,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement.
“Support for this misguided deal with Iran has been narrow and partisan while opposition has been bi-partisan. With this vote, we enter a new era in American politics. The sad reality is that a dividing line has opened showing that too many Democrats can no longer be counted on as stalwart defenders of Israel,” Brooks added.
Since coming to a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, the Obama administration has been campaigning hard to garner support for the deal. The president has threatened to use his veto power should a resolution rejecting the deal reach his desk.