Obama’s willingness to embrace a pact that falls short of Security Council demands for Iran to halt uranium enrichment has pushed his administration’s already contentious relationship with Israel to the brink, strained ties with Gulf Arab states and exacerbated tensions with Democratic and Republican lawmakers. . . .Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who spoke to Obama last week, used a procedural maneuver on Monday to control amendments to a defense bill, including those for Iran sanctions. However, a group of Republican senators introduced an amendment that would keep penalties in place, and toughen them, unless Iran freezes its nuclear program completely.Led by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., the senators called Obama’s plan a “well-intentioned but deeply naive diplomatic strategy” that “is doomed to fail.”“This proposal will give our diplomats the increased leverage they need to get a good deal at the negotiating table — a deal that peacefully brings Iran into full compliance with its international obligations,” Kirk said.
November 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM EST