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Sen. Kaine: Iran Deal A 'Dramatic Improvement Over The Status Quo'

Speaking at American University today, President Barack Obama sought to counter concerns about the nuclear deal with Iran, which would limit Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Critics say the deal will give Iran billions of dollars in sanction relief and allow it to maintain an advanced nuclear program. Congress returns to Washington next month and is expected to vote on a resolution to support or reject the deal.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd spoke with Democratic Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about whether or not there will be enough support to sustain the president’s expected veto if Congress rejects the deal next month.

“There are real questions now. I think in the House, the House will reject the deal,” Kaine said. “They have a simple majority vote requirement, and they’re likely to reject it based on the partisan makeup of the House. But it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Senate will reject the deal. We’ve got a lot of discussion still to have.”

He said that while the deal has its share of critics, it’s still an improvement on what existed before.

“It’s a challenging thing, but if people analyze the difference between the deal and the status quo on the ground before, they’ll see the improvement,” Kaine said. “If you compare the deal to the hypotheticals – ‘I could’ve negotiated a better deal’ – you’re kind of chasing a fantasy. But if you compare the deal to what was actually on the ground before diplomacy started, that’s where it looks strong.”


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