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CEDAR RAPIDS - Democrats may have rounded up enough votes to prevent the Senate from passing a measure disapproving the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal, but that doesn't make the agreement any better, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley.
'The more I've studied the nuclear deal with Iran the more I've conclude (it's) a bad deal,” the Iowa Republican told reporters Wednesday.
The American people increasingly share that view, he said, 'and that's exactly what I heard from Iowans in my August town meetings and even more overwhelmingly by phone and mail.”
A Pew Research Center poll found that as Congress prepares to vote on the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by the United States, Iran and other nations, public support for it has fallen from earlier this summer. Nearly half, 49 percent, disapprove of the deal and 21 percent approve, according to Pew.
Regardless of public opinion, it appears Obama will have the backing of enough Democratic senators to prevent the Senate from voting on a disapproval measure that is likely to win House passage.
Sixty votes would be needed to bring the disapproval measure to a vote. So far, 42 Democrats have said they oppose disapproving the deal. Not all of them have said they will filibuster to prevent a vote. Either way, there are enough votes to sustain President Obama's promised veto if it comes to that.
Grassley faults the agreement for accepting Iran as a 'nuclear threshold state.” He doesn't believe Iran will dismantle many parts of its uranium enrichment infrastructure and will continue a vast research and development program.
'Iran could fully abide by this deal and be a nuclear threshold state,” Grassley said.
It also ignores Iran's past 'very bad behavior … (and) egregious record of human rights and religion persecution.”
He's also concerned that the lifting of sanctions will free up tens of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets for ran to use to support terrorist activities throughout the Middle East and beyond.
In his opposition, Grassley said he sides with the President Obama's earlier position that 'no deal than a bad deal,” Grassley said. 'We need an agreement that improves our national security and the security of our friends and allies.”
Asked about an event led by 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump to rally support for the disapproval, Grassley said he's all for it.
'Anything that any senator can do - and I probably don't dramatize things as much as some of my fellow senators do - but I think anything you can do to bring to the public's attention how bad an agreement this is it ought to be done,” he said.