Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) issued a strong statement on Thursday after Senate Democrats foiled a Republican bill of disapproval to the Iran nuclear deal, sparing US President Barack Obama from having to use his presidential veto to ram the deal through.
"Political fealty to President Obama’s hoped-for legacy in foreign affairs means this dangerous deal will likely move forward, despite the overwhelming and bipartisan opposition to it in Congress and the clear will of the American people," warned Cotton. "Obstruction on the part of a minority of legislators is not the foundation on which lasting, consequential arms control agreements are built."
"A majority of Americans oppose the Iran deal because it compromises the safety and security of not only the United States, but also of the rest of the world."
Cotton took a long perspective in noting that "history will remember this stunning display of partisan loyalty and willful blindness. And it will remember this Senate as the one that – when given the chance to stop the world’s worst sponsor of terrorism from obtaining the world’s worst weapons – blinked when confronted with that evil."
On the Senate floor ahead of the vote, Cotton made an impassioned plea to support the bill against the deal, warning of the consequences of the controversial agreement.
Quoting a 1936 speech by Winston Churchill, in which he condemned the appeasement by Britain vis-a-vis the genocidal Nazi regime, Cotton chillingly stated, "we are entering a period of consequences."
“Because of your votes, the consequences may well be nuclear. God help us all if they are.”
Taking aim at Obama's desperate moves to force the deal through as a foreign policy victory, he said, "this vote is not about a party or a president. After all, the Iranians chant death to America, and not death to Republicans or death to Democrats or death to our president."
"Just this week, the Iranians again labeled America the Great Satan. This vote is about empowering an evil, terror-sponsoring regime," said Cotton. He warned Senators that regardless of any excuses, "history will only remember your vote" to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.
The senator also noted that the UAE has recently warned it will seek nuclear power if the deal passes, as a regional nuclear arms race stands looming and ready to be launched in the wake of the deal.
There are already moves in the House to restart the 60-day Congressional review period given the lack of access to secret side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but it remains to be seen if the power balance in the Senate would allow those moves to have any real effect.
Another angle opponents of the deal are exploring is the option to sue Obama for not divulging the side deals, and thereby block the lifting of sanctions to Iran, effectively undermining the nuclear deal.