'Rubio's demand that Iran recognize Israel threatens to sink bipartisan deal'

Florida senator insisting that lawmakers vote on a number of his amendments which Democrats believe will kill the Corker-Cardin compromise and invite an Obama veto.

April 30, 2015 15:34
2 minute read.
US presidential candidate and Republican senator of Florida Marco Rubio

US presidential candidate and Republican senator of Florida Marco Rubio acknowledges the applause of the audience after speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's forum in Waukee, Iowa. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican hawk who hopes to capture the GOP presidential nomination, insists on forcing Iran to recognize Israel as part of any nuclear deal between the Obama administration and the Islamic Republic, the online news magazine Politico is reporting on Thursday.

Rubio’s uncompromising stance threatens to blow up the recently negotiated compromise between the White House and Congress whereby lawmakers would be permitted to review a deal concerning Iran's nuclear program.

US President Barack Obama said earlier this month that the agreement was a "reasonable compromise" that would not derail talks with Tehran over its nuclear program.

Obama told a White House news conference that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker and the panel's leading Democrat, Ben Cardin, had agreed they would protect the bill from "poison pill" amendments that would be tilted toward trying to kill an agreement with Iran.

Now Rubio is insisting that lawmakers vote on a number of his amendments which Democrats believe will kill the compromise and invite an Obama veto.

Aside from Iranian recognition of Israel, Rubio also wants the Tehran regime to unconditionally release all Americans held in Iran, the Obama administration to submit any UN resolutions to Congress for approval, and the economic sanctions regime to remain in place, according to Politico.

Despite indications that the GOP leadership is on board with the proposed Rubio amendments, some Republicans are wary of the move since it threatens to undo progress made with Democrats over a bipartisan coalition that has forced the administration to back down from its previous position ruling out any Congressional say over the Iran deal.

The influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee is pressuring lawmakers not to support amendments to toughen a bill that lets Congress review a nuclear agreement with Iran, hoping to avoid a partisan battle that could doom the legislation.

AIPAC has been urging Republicans not to back amendments that might turn many Senate Democrats against the "Iran Nuclear Review Act," or prompt Obama to renew his threat to veto the legislation.

"Our priority is to make sure the bill gets passed with the strongest possible bipartisan majority so that Congress is guaranteed the opportunity to pass judgment on the final agreement," an AIPAC source said.

"To achieve that goal we are supporting the leadership of Senator [Bob] Corker and Senator [Ben] Cardin on the bill."

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