As Obama Presses Senate, Reid Holds Cards Close on Iran

Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:01pm

President Barack Obama and his administration are engaged in an all-out press to get the Senate to back off a new round of Iran sanctions which they believe risk unraveling talks and could even prompt war — including a personal appeal to Senate Democrats on Wednesday night.

So far, the White House efforts appear to be holding the line, although Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., continues to hold his cards close to the vest on when, or whether, he might allow a vote on the bipartisan bill by Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., that had been heading toward a veto-proof majority.

“He did spend a little time on the Iran issue,” Reid said of the president.

“As I said Tuesday … people on both sides of this issue are working in good faith to try to come up with a result that’s favorable result,” Reid said. “The result is going to be the fact the Iran is not going to get a nuclear weapon.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who is a co-sponsor of the bill, said, “We are united in our goal to not have a nuclear Iran and the new agreement is only in effect for a day or two. That’s all I’d say on that.”