US Democrats Urged to Back Diplomacy on Iran

US Democrats Urged to Back Diplomacy on Iran
US Democrats Urged to Back Diplomacy on Iran

US progressive groups rallied on Thursday to persuade Democratic senators not to support a bill giving the US Congress a vote on a nuclear deal with Iran, echoing the White House’s insistence that the measure could blow up delicate negotiations.

Five groups - CREDO, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Political Action and USAction - sent a letter warning Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Whip Richard Durbin and other Democratic Senate leaders that they would hold them accountable if they backed legislation seen as detrimental to the talks, Reuters reported.

Supporters say they are close to a veto-proof majority of 67 senators behind a bill from Republican Senator Bob Corker and Democratic Senator Robert Menendez giving Congress the opportunity to approve or reject sanctions relief in an Iran nuclear deal.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill on April 14.

On Wednesday, Democratic senators filed amendments that, if passed, would eliminate some sections of the legislation most worrisome to Democrats. But with Republicans holding a majority of seats in the Senate and House of Representatives, it was not clear that would win the Republican support needed to pass.

In their letter, the liberal groups noted that they represent millions of activists around the country who have raised “tens of millions of dollars” to turn out voters and help elect Democrats.

“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,” they wrote.

Credo organized a petition specifically targeting Senator Charles Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, who backs the bill.

The petition reads, “Tell Sen. Chuck Schumer: Don’t lead Senate Democrats into war with Iran.” It had been signed by more than 70,000 people by Thursday afternoon.