Charisma Caucus

Top Democrat's Efforts Are Making Israelis Happy

Ben Cardin
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) says he supports renewing sanctions against Iran. (Reuters photo)

Israel was never a fan of the Iran nuclear deal, nor were many members of Congress who have advocated for that nation.

And now one Democrat is bucking both his president and the leading contenders for this party's upcoming presidential nomination. Israelis are smiling—as are several Republican presidential candidates—while President Obama, and probably former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are likely fuming.

"There's general agreement we have to extend the sanctions against Iran, and we need to do it before they expire at the end of this year," Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a report from The Times of Israel.

Restoring sanctions against Iran was the top request at this year's AIPAC spring policy conference held last month in Washington, D.C. Pro-Israel members of Congress in both parties have agreed it needs to happen, but disagree on how to go about doing it.

Sanctions were first imposed on Iran in 1996 and renewed in 2006. They must be renewed by Congress every 10 years. Democrats favor renewing the sanctions as "snap back" position, should Iran violate the terms of the nuclear deal ironed out this year between Iran, several European nations, and the U.S.

Republicans, however, want the entire nuclear deal scrapped, the original sanctions restored, and new sanctions added, citing Iran's role as a state sponsor of Islamist attacks on the West.

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