Five Democratic presidential candidates ready to restart Iran deal

Five Democratic presidential candidates say they want to restart the Iran deal, an issue which may be a “litmus test” for the Democratic field.

By World Israel News Staff

At least five Democratic presidential candidates say they will reignite the Iran nuclear deal, according to a survey published Thursday by Al-Monitor, a Washington, D.C. based news site focusing on the Middle East.

Responding to Al-Monitor, five candidates voiced their intention to rejoin the Iran deal. They include Sens. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). The other two are Florida Mayor Wayne Messam, and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson, the site reports.

One Democratic presidential hopeful who was more circumspect in his reply was Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.“My concern right now, my focus, is the denuclearization of Iran,” he told Al-Monitor. “We need to be focused on best strategies to get us there. 2021 is a long time from now, and I’m focused on the steps we have to do right now.”

The Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on May 8, 2018. President Donald Trump promised in his 2016 campaign to ditch what he called “the worst” deal ever.

Read  ICJ likely to find Israel guilty of genocide, says senator

It appears rejoining the Iran deal may become an important campaign issue for Democrats as well.

“Iran is fast becoming a litmus test for Democrats” who plan to take on Trump, Al-Monitor says.  The site reports that National Security Action, “a group of former Barack Obama administration officials, has circulated a draft memo to all declared Democratic candidates asking them to rejoin,” the deal.

Al-Monitor says the group’s message is “gaining traction” among Democrats. That message, according to the group’s policy director Ned Price, is: “If Iran remains in compliance, the next administration should rejoin the Iran deal and use principled diplomacy to negotiate a follow-on agreement to keep the Iranian nuclear program in a box for the long term.”

The Obama administration negotiated the deal with Iran in June 2015 together with the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany. Those countries continue to support the deal and oppose America’s withdrawal from the agreement.

Ten  candidates did not respond to Al-Monitor’s query. They included Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.