Obama Gets One More Vote Closer To ‘Yes’ On Iran Deal

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley announced on Sunday that he will support the White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran.

Merkley becomes the 31st Senate Democrat to endorse the agreement publicly, leaving the Obama administration just three votes shy of having enough votes to sustain a veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval — that is, of being able to advance the deal over Republican objections.

In a statement Sunday, Merkley said the agreement is “the best available strategy to block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

He highlighted some of the deal’s strengths, including blocking covert avenues Iran could take to assembling a bomb by “imposing extensive inspections and monitoring.”

He also, however, pointed out what he sees as “significant shortcomings” in the deal:

“It does not block Iran’s importation of conventional arms, allowing Iran to acquire conventional arms after 5 years and ballistic missile technology after 8 years. It does not dictate how Iran can spend the dollars it reclaims from cash assets that are currently frozen. It does not permanently maintain bright lines on Iran’s nuclear research or nuclear energy program, lifting the 300 kg and 3.67% enrichment limits after 15 years.

“These exclusions raise troubling concerns. It is certainly possible, perhaps probable, that Iran will use its additional resources and access to conventional arms to increase its support for terrorist groups. And it is certainly possible that Iran will use its nuclear research or nuclear energy program to provide a foundation for a future nuclear weapon program.”

The deal, reached with Iran, the U.S. and five other nations, lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. As NPR has previosuly reported, two other high-ranking Senate Democrats, New Jersey’s Robert Menendez and New York’s Chuck Schumer, announced their opposition to the deal.

The Guardian notes:

“Republicans, who control the Senate, are unanimously against the deal. But with an overwhelming number of Senate Democrats in favor, some have now begun aiming to amass 41 yes votes, which would allow them to kill the disapproval resolution outright in the Senate and protect Obama from having to use his veto pen.”

The Hill points out that Merkley’s endorsement may put pressure on Oregon’s other Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. Wyden is considered a swing vote and has not announced whether he will support or oppose the deal.

Delaware Democrat Chris Coons, also seen as a swing vote and a key senator to watch, is expected to announce his decision Tuesday in a news conference at the University of Delaware.

With so many Democrats united in support of the agreement, the Iran deal’s detractors will likely have an uphill battle trying to defeat it.

Read more. http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/30/436077633/obama-gets-one-more-vote-closer-to-yes-on-iran-deal


Glossary


Sen.                 Abbr.   Senator


announce   /əˈnouns/   V        

make a public and typically formal declaration about a fact, occurrence, or intention.

“the president’s office announced that the state of siege would be lifted”

synonyms:   make public, make known, report, declare, divulge, state, give out, notify, publicize, broadcast, publish, advertise, circulate, proclaim, blazon

“their financial results were announced”


endorse   /inˈdôrs,enˈdôrs/   V        

declare one’s public approval or support of.

“the report was endorsed by the college”


administration   /ədˌminəˈstrāSH(ə)n/   N        

the officials in the executive branch of government under a particular chief executive.

“the Kennedy administration sought to use the conference to repair US prestige”


Just shy of        informal    

You can say something is just shy of an amount if it’s just short of that amount.

“Luckily our boxer’s weight is just shy of 60 kilos. If he was over 60 kilos, he couldn’t fight.”

“We’ve counted the bricks and there are just shy of a thousand.”


sustain   /səˈsteɪn/   V        

to provide the conditions in which something can happen or exist

“Only two of the planets could sustain life.”

Analysts believe present economic growth can be sustained without inflation.”


resolution   /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/   N        

a firm decision to do or not to do something.

“she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

synonyms:  intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan;


advance   /ədˈvæns/   V        

to go or ​move something ​forward, or to ​develop or ​improve something:

“The ​fire advanced ​steadily through the ​forest. “

“The ​troops advanced on the ​city (= ​approached it, ​ready to ​attack).”

“We have advanced ​greatly in ​ourknowledge of the ​universe. “

“Her ​study has ​considerably advanced (= ​helped) the ​cause of ​equalrights.”

“He’s just ​trying to advance (= ​improve) his own ​career.”

objection   /əbˈdʒekʃən/   N        

an expression of disapproval

“He raised no objection to the idea.”


block   /bläk/   V                   

to prevent from happening, succeeding, or progressing:

“blocked every attempt to reform the rules.”


aquire   /əˈkwī(ə)r/   V        

to get new knowledge or a new skill by learning it

“How can such a large quantity of knowledge be acquired?”

“the way children acquire language


highlight   /ˈhīˌlīt/   V        

pick out and emphasize.

“the issues highlighted by the report”

synonyms:   spotlight, call attention to, point out, single out, focus on, underline, feature, play up, show up, bring out, accentuate, accent, give prominence to, zero in on, stress, emphasize

“he has highlighted shortcomings in the plan”


avenue   /ˈavəˌn(y)o͞o/   N        

a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.

“three possible avenues of research suggested themselves”

synonyms:   line, path;


extensive      Adj     

covering or affecting a large area.

“an extensive garden”

synonyms:   large, large-scale, sizable, substantial, considerable, ample, expansive, great, vast

“a mansion with extensive grounds”


 Point out    PhV              

to indicate or specify


shortcoming     N        

a fault or failure to meet a certain standard, typically in a person’s character, a plan, or a system.

“he is so forthright about his shortcomings, it’s hard to chastise him”

synonyms:   defect, fault, flaw, imperfection, deficiency, limitation, failing, drawback, weakness, weak point, foible, frailty, vice

“after forty years of marriage, he still claimed she had few shortcomings”


importation   /ˌɪmpɔːˈteɪʃən/   N                   

the act, business, or process of importing goods or services


dictate   /ˈdikˌtāt,ˌdikˈtāt/    V        

lay down authoritatively; prescribe.

“the tsar’s attempts to dictate policy”

synonyms:   give orders to, order around/about, lord it over;

lay down the law to;

informal   boss around/about, push around/about;

throw one’s weight around/about

“you are in no position to dictate to me”


reclaim   /rɪˈkleɪm/   V                   

to take back something that was yours:

“You’ll be ​able to reclaim the ​tax on all ​equipment that you ​buy.”

“I reclaimed my ​suitcase from the ​lostluggageoffice.”


lift      V        

Formally remove or end (a legal restriction, decision, or ban):

the European Community lifted its oil  embargo against  South Africa. But the government Monday lifted the ban, and said it would welcome aid.”


exclution   /ɪkˈskluʒ(ə)n/   N        

something that is deliberately not included

“You are protected against most illnesses, with one or two exclusions.”


troubling   /ˈtrʌblɪŋ/  Adj     

causing worry, anxiety or upset    

“the troubling aspects of today’s society, The report raises three troubling questions about America’s response to China’s recent spying., There are troubling signs in children’s general health., But most troubling of all was the simple fact that nobody knew what was going on.”


foundation   /founˈdāSH(ə)n/   N        

an underlying basis or principle for something.

“this idea is the foundation of all modern economics”

synonyms:   basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise;


In exchange for      

iIn return (for something or someone),

“Jim lent Bill his motorcycle, and Bill offered his car in exchange, or At the party, the guests were given cookies in exchange for the ones they brought.”


curb   /kɝːb/   V        

to ​control or ​limit something that is not ​wanted: The ​government should ​act to curb ​taxevasion.

More examples

“He is someone who ​finds it ​difficult to curb his ​fleshlydesires.”

“You really need to curb ​yourspending.”

“The ​police are ​trying to curb under-age ​drinking.”


unanimously   /yo͞oˈnanəməslē/   Adv    

without opposition; with the agreement of all people involved.

“a bipartisan law passed unanimously by Congress”


overwhelming   /ˌōvərˈ(h)welmiNG/   Adj     

very great in amount.

“he was elected president by an overwhelming majority”


In favor   

having or showing approval.

“the appeals court ruled 2-1 in favor of his extradition”

synonyms:   on the side of, pro, (all) for, giving support to, approving of, sympathetic to

“we’re in favor of a strike”


amass   /əˈmas/   V        

gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of valuable material or things) over a period of time.

“starting from nothing he had amassed a huge fortune”

synonyms:  gather, collect, assemble


outright        Adv    

altogether; completely.

“logging has been banned outright”

synonyms:   completely, entirely, wholly, fully, totally, categorically, absolutely, utterly, flatly, unreservedly, in every respect

“he rejected the proposal outright”


Swing vote              (politics, especially US)

in a situation when people are about to vote, the swing vote is used to talk about the vote of a person or group which is difficult to predict and which will be important in deciding the result  

” He’s a Democrat who holds the swing vote on the committee.”

رأی‌دهندگان مردد


oppose   /əˈpōz/   V   

disapprove of and attempt to prevent, especially by argument.

“those of you who oppose capital punishment”


detractor   /dəˈtraktər/   N        

a person who disparages someone or something.

synonyms:  critic, disparager, denigrator, deprecator, belittler, attacker, fault-finder, backbiter;


An uphill battle                             

an uphill battle/fight/struggle   also an uphill job/task

if something you are trying to do is an uphill struggle, it is very difficult, often because other people are causing problems for you

“Environmentalists face an uphill struggle convincing people to use their cars less. We’re trying to expand our business, but it’s an uphill battle.”