Despite failed attempts by Senate Republicans to vote on a resolution to reject the Iran nuclear deal, the debate among members of the U.S. Congress continues.
Recent polling suggests Americans, for their part, are equally divided on the agreement designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions.
While the deal looks nearly certain to survive, the implications of the public record on this debate will affect the conversation around the region for decades to come.
Last week, Brookings contributed to that effort by hosting a Brookings Debate on the Iran deal. The specific question at hand: How should congress vote on the Iran nuclear deal?
Arguing in support of the deal’s approval was Brookings Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney, an expert on Iran and Persian Gulf energy, and Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran of the CIA and senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four U.S. presidents of the United States.
Arguing against the deal were U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Brookings Senior Fellow Leon Wieseltier, former literary editor of The New Republic.
CBS’s Major Garrett moderated the debate, asking viewers to vote for or against the deal before the debaters made their case. At the end of the debate, viewers voted again. Here were the results:
After watching the highlights, what do you think? Should Congress approve the deal? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
You can watch the full debate video here.
The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.