AIPAC Caves On Iran Sanctions Vote

February 7, 2014 9:40 a.m.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee backed off its push for a swift vote on new Iran sanctions in a statement Thursday evening, providing a boost for the Obama administration’s efforts to strike a nuclear deal with Iran.

“[T]hat there should not be a vote at this time on the measure,” said the lobbying group.

The statement was first reported by The Hill. It came after Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the author of the sanctions bill, signaled on the Senate floor that it should move forward when there is bipartisan unity.

Read the full statement below:

“AIPAC commends Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) for his strong and eloquent statement on the Senate floor today outlining the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and the imperative of dismantling it. We appreciate his commitment to ensure that any agreement with Iran “is verifiable, effective, and prevents them from ever developing even one nuclear weapon.

“We applaud Senator Menendez’s determined leadership on this issue and his authorship with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act. We agree with the Chairman that stopping the Iranian nuclear program should rest on bipartisan support and that there should not be a vote at this time on the measure. We remain committed to working with the Administration and the bipartisan leadership in Congress to ensure that the Iran nuclear program is dismantled.”

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have warned that an immediate vote on Iran sanctions would jeopardize diplomatic efforts to reach a deal in which Iran surrenders its nuclear weapons capabilities. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has signaled he’ll hold off on a vote as negotiations play out.

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