Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Israel | War on Terrorism | Iran | nuclear | deal

Progressives Warn Senate Dems: Opposing Obama Means Supporting War

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 08:15 PM

With lawmakers bracing for what may be brutal political warfare with President Barack Obama over Iran's nuclear program and the constitutional prerogatives of Congress, progressive groups are putting Democrats on notice: Any serious opposition to administration policy will be regarded as a vote to "potentially start a war with Iran," Politico reports.

Groups including MoveOn, Democracy for America, Daily Kos, and USAction have sent an open letter to party leaders warning Senate Democrats not to vote for legislation increasing sanctions on Iran or permitting congressional review of the nuclear framework agreement reached with Iran last week.

Both bills are opposed by Obama, and the progressives warn they will "hold accountable" Democrats who support them, Politico reports.

"Senate Democrats are now faced with a choice: Support President Obama's diplomacy or vote with Republicans to potentially start a war with Iran. There is no third option," the groups write. "A historic vote on a nuclear deal with Iran is coming. Like the 2002 vote to give President George W. Bush authorization to invade Iraq, Democrats who end up on the wrong side of it will have to answer for their decision for the rest of their careers."

Republican leaders and prominent Democrats — including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the apparent Senate Democratic leader in waiting, who announced his support on Monday — favor the congressional review measure, which is set for a vote in committee when Congress returns next week.

The progressives' letter is addressed to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, Schumer, and Patty Murray of Washington. Other Democratic senators on the letter are Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mark Warner of Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, Politico reported Wednesday.

Most leaders have stayed away from supporting the Iran bills, though Schumer and Warner have signaled support for both the congressional review bill and the sanctions measures, and Tester supported the sanctions bill in committee, the website reported.

But the progressive groups say it is too risky for Democrats to establish a congressional review process that could result in rejection of Obama's nuclear deal.

"We urge you to support the diplomatic process, and ensure that Democrats don’t deliver the Republicans the votes they need to override a presidential veto of diplomacy-killing legislation and begin yet another war of choice in the Middle East," the left-wing groups warn Democratic leaders.

But as the progressives are ratcheting up the pressure on congressional Democrats to support Obama's deal with no questions asked, Tehran is also turning the screws — but in a very different way.

On Wednesday, Iranian officials reportedly said the regime will begin using much faster centrifuges in its possession on the day the deal with Washington takes effect, the Times of Israel reported.

According to Tehran's semi-official FARS news agency, Iran will begin using its latest generation IR-8 centrifuges as soon as the nuclear deal takes effect, its foreign minister and nuclear chief told members of parliament on Tuesday.

If accurate, "the report appears to make a mockery of the world powers’ much-hailed framework agreement with Iran, since such a move clearly breaches the U.S.-published terms of the deal, and would dramatically accelerate Iran’s potential progress to the bomb," the Times of Israel said.

Iran has said that the IR-8s enrich uranium 20 times faster than the current centrifuges it uses, known as IR-1s.

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With lawmakers bracing for what may be brutal political warfare with President Obama over Iran's nuclear program and the constitutional prerogatives of Congress, progressives are putting Democrats on notice: Any serious opposition to administration policy will be regarded
Iran, nuclear, deal, US, progressive, democrats, senate, support, obama, war, centrifuges
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2015-15-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 08:15 PM
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