War by Spring or a Deal


I am pro deal and think the hawkish posturing can come down several pegs.

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If an Iran deal is put to a vote in the Senate, Menendez’s reaction will be crucial. Republicans most likely will uniformly oppose it. The administration can still afford to lose a handful of Democrats, because only 41 votes would be needed to allow a revived agreement to proceed. But it might take some arm twisting to round up enough votes to win.

Ben Cardin, the hawkish Maryland senator, has already expressed concerns about delisting the Revolutionary Guards. Other influential Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, such as Chris Coons of Delaware, have said little in support of a fresh deal.

A defeat in the Senate could deal the president a damaging blow on one of his signature foreign policy initiatives, supporters of the talks warn. And given Iran’s rapid advance toward producing weapons-grade uranium, should diplomacy fail, the president could be facing the prospect of a new conflict in the Middle East on top of a grinding war in Ukraine.

If there is no deal, Vaez said, “I think this will escalate very quickly and the specter of war will emerge as soon as the spring.”