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Congressional Democrats Give President Breathing Room on Iran Sanctions Bill

Democrats breaking with the administration in supporting legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran if there is no nuclear deal by June 30 have agreed to give the president some breathing room. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said on Tuesday that he and other Democrats will hold off on their support for the bill until after March 24. Menendez said he and his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, explaining that they will resume support for the measure if there is no political framework agreement because he and the others “remain hopeful that diplomacy will succeed in reversing Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon capability.” While the president believes the threat of new sanctions will scuttle the talks, Menendez and the other Democrats who broke with the administration insist that, “The legislation…would signal to the Iranian regime that there will be more consequences if they choose not to reach a final deal.”