Jim Sciutto, CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent, is reporting that the Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions bill has 77 Senators in favor of the legislation, more than enough to override a presidential veto.
Currently, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 has 58 cosponsors, representing 43 of the 45 Republicans in the Senate, along with 16 Democrats. The only two Republican Senators who have yet to sign onto the legislation are Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Senator Paul’s staff indicated that he was open to voting ‘Yes’ if the bill were to come to a vote. Senator Flake, however, has not publicly stated how he would vote on the legislation.
The President has already declared that he would veto the Iran sanctions bill. Press Secretary Jay Carney said of the bill, “We don’t think this action is necessary; we don’t think it will be enacted. If it were enacted, the president would veto it.” Two thirds of both houses of Congress are needed to overturn a veto. The 77 Senators reportedly in favor of the bill are more than enough, and it is widely acknowledged that the House would vote overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation.
Iran’s English-language state-sponsored media outlet, PRESSTV, continues to blame Israel and the “Israel Lobby” for the legislation’s widespread support, going as far as to ask, “Will US Senate Crown Netanyahu Emperor?”
Ryan Costello of the National Iranian American Council, a group with suspected ties to the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran, wrote a scathing article attacking one of the bill’s original sponsors, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. In the Huffington Post, Costello wrote “war is the likely outcome” should the United States pass further sanctions.
While the National Iranian American Council and other groups have tried to convince the American public that the United States should consider the Iranian regime as a rational actor in pursuit of diplomacy, Congress, along with the American public at large, virulently disagree. A recent poll displayed overwhelming support for additional sanctions from 77% of Democratic voters and 96% of Republicans.
Since August, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office, over 300 people have been executed. Many of the individuals declared worthy of capital punishment were declared “Moharebeh,” or those who are “waging war against God” in Islamic law. The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center has estimated that 624 individuals were executed in 2013 alone. Rouhani’s troubling resumée also includes his connection to the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center in Argentina that resulted in the loss of dozens of innocent lives.