APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented on today's vote in the Senate on the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA):
"This afternoon, the Senate voted with the American people and the world to give the JCPOA a chance. It did so after weeks of careful deliberation, far-reaching consultations with experts, and deep soul-searching. Senators conducted all of this to the backdrop of a campaign of extraordinary pressure from various quarters, including some American Jewish groups and the Israeli government, urging them to ignore the facts, reject experts' analyses, and oppose the agreement.
"We applaud all those Senators who came out in support of the deal and all those who voted against the Republicans' effort today, backed energetically by AIPAC and other anti-deal groups, to, in effect, change Senate procedure – and alter the understandings upon which the Iran oversight legislation was adopted – to give special treatment to a resolution of disapproval of the JCPOA. Such special treatment was sought, cynically, because without it the resolution could not pass, having failed to attract the two-thirds support of the Senate that has long been required for passage of major legislation.
"Given that it was already evident that a resolution of disapproval had zero chance of becoming law, deal opponents' pressure for special treatment of the measure clearly had nothing to do with wanting a full debate and due consideration of the JCPOA in the Senate. Rather, this effort was about one thing and one thing only: political point-scoring – at the expense not simply of President Obama, but at the expense of U.S. leadership and credibility in the world, and at the expense of further harm to vital U.S. interests around the globe, including the U.S.-Israel relationship.
"In this context, today's vote represented the definitive 'up-or-down vote' on the JCPOA that opponents of the deal demanded, having failed in their efforts to change the rules to ensure the desired outcome.
"Today's Senate vote is a victory for the American people, for U.S. leadership, and for U.S. national security. We believe that it is a victory, too, for Israel, with the implementation of the JCPOA dramatically rolling back the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and curbing that threat for years to come. It is for those reasons that APN has worked long and hard to support a diplomatic solution to the challenge of Iran, and it is for those reasons that APN celebrates the vote in the Senate today.
"We urge opponents of the JCPOA in the House and Senate to now come to terms with the fact that their dream of blocking the Iran deal has come to naught. We urge them, and we urge Israeli officials and anti-deal outside groups as well, to cease efforts to further drag out the battle over the deal with additional petty game-playing. The battle over the Iran deal has been long and it has been impassioned, but it now needs to end. It is time to step back and give the JCPOA the chance to succeed."