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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jeff Flake’s ‘no’ dims Barack Obama’s hope of bipartisan support on Iran

It doesn’t look like President Barack Obama will get to claim “bipartisan support” for the Iran nuclear deal, either.

On Saturday, Sen. Jeff Flake, possibly the only Republican in Congress open to supporting the agreement, said he won’t.

The Arizonan, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a lengthy statement explaining that he could not back the internationally negotiated deal because he believed it constrains the United States’ ability to punish Iran in the future for its non-nuclear aggression in the Middle East.

“While Congress has received assurances from the administration that it does not forfeit its ability to impose sanctions on Iran for behavior on the non-nuclear side, these assurances do not square with the text of the [Iran agreement],” Flake said.

The White House declined to comment on Flake’s decision, but said it would continue to seek opportunities to persuade other Republicans to back the deal. At this stage, however, it appears as if the Iran agreement will fail to muster a single GOP vote in support — at least not in the Senate and likely not in the House...

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