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Sen. Coons discusses Iran nuclear deal vote

Delaware Public Media

The vote in the U.S. Senate Thursday not to take up a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal moves the controversial agreement forward without a showdown between President Obama and the Republican-controlled Congress.  There will be no need for Obama to veto a disapproval resolution or a vote to override a veto.

Delaware’s junior senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) is among  the deal’s supporters and joined 41 others who voted to keep a disapproval resolution from going forward.

But the vote was a procedural one and Coons says he would have preferred a straight up or down vote.

The Minority leader, Sen. Reid of Nevada, twice went to the floor and offered to consent to proceed directly to an up or down vote on the resolution of disapproval by a 60 vote margin," said Coons. "It is to me frustrating and disappointing to have an issue of this significance ultimately founder on the rocks of partisanship rather than have a clear up or down vote."

Coons adds while the deal is going forward – he and others in Congress are still seeking ways to address concerns about the agreement.  In the short term, Coons says he’d like to see a clear plan to curtail Iran’s ability use funds from sanctions relief to sponsor terrorist groups.

He also says work must be done to make sure any efforts by Iran to cheat are addressed forcefully.

“We have to be confident that our key European allies will stand with us as this deal is implemented and be really strict – have a zero tolerance approach to any interpretation questions," Coons told Delaware Public Media. "The Iranians will try to cheat, but they will do so, I think, in marginal ways, small ways and we have to be ready to deter them by not accepting as a misunderstanding or a mistake small slips or marginal cheating."

Coons also wants to see efforts made to ensure there are clear deterrents to Iran seeking a bomb in place when this agreement expires in 15 years, including the capability of the U.S. or Israel to use force to keep Iran from a nuclear weapon.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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