Bipartisan super-majority, including 16 Democrats, pass non-binding measure, won’t let IRGC off the hook for terror.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
The U.S. Senate sent a message to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, signaling that his much-hyped potential return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal would not be supported by American lawmakers.
A bipartisan super-majority, which included 16 Democrats, passed a motion demanding that the U.S. not lift an official designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and that any new deal address Iran’s various proxy militias and support for terror elsewhere in the region.
The measure itself is non-binding but serves a highly visible warning to the Biden administration that a deal that focuses strictly on the nuclear program while letting Iran off the hook for its other military and terror assets would be unacceptable.
“It is a strong expression of sentiment about where we’re at with Iran and the concern that members of the Senate have with Iran’s trajectory here as it relates to its march toward a nuclear weapon — and what we try to do to prevent it,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) told Politico.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s a pretty strong statement,” he said.
Although Menendez could not be present for the vote on Wednesday, he said he supported it. In 2015, the lawmaker voted against the Iran nuclear deal crafted by the Obama administration.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said that the non-binding nature of the notion meant it was a safe move for Democratic senators interested in looking tough on Iran. But he was skeptical about them maintaining that stance should a viable deal appear on the horizon.
“It was a non-binding vote. It’s a political year,” Durbin told Politico. “If we get down to a serious negotiation and the potential for reining in nuclear weapons in the Middle East, I think people will look at it differently.”