The Obama administration has worked hard to get Iran to sign a six-month agreement that freezes Iran’s nuclear program (or promises to) in exchange for relief from the debilitating sanctions that have strangled the Iranian economy. The President has taken a lot of flack for not being what he promised back in the heady days of 2007-08: Guantanamo is still open, to give a stinging example. But one idea in Obama’s campaign arsenal that really distinguished him from his predecessor was his stated willingness to “talk to our enemies.” The idea rankled many then, and it rankles today: lots of people, including 59 senators (according to the New York Times) think it’s naive and irresponsible. Why cease implementing sanctions that are having the desired effect?
Obama thinks opening up a window poses less risk than keeping it closed. The sanctions may starve Iranian families, but they haven’t yet halted its nuclear ambitions. Yet every Republican senator is against what they see as appeasement inherent in the deal, and 16 Democrats so far have joined them. Another eight and Obama’s veto power will be ineffectual.