The editorial boards of multiple major newspapers have spoken out this week against a controversial Iran sanctions bill.
The bill, backed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), would penalize Iran if it violates terms of an interim nuclear deal or fails to reach a final agreement, and could push the U.S. toward war. The Obama administration argues that talks to curb Iran's nuclear program may be ruined by the sanctions. The White House on Thursday challenged senators who support the measure to admit they are working to push the country toward war.
More than a dozen of President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats and more than 40 Republicans back the legislation, according to The Associated Press. Some co-sponsors have argued this week that the measure is meant to strengthen Obama's hand.
The New York Times editorial board declared that "dangerously misguided forces, including leading Democrats and Republicans in Congress, are working to sabotage" an agreement. The paper argued that the international negotiations could fail under Congress' pressure, leading to war.
"The senators already may have accomplished the maximum good by proposing the bill, thereby raising the pressure on the administration and Iran," The Washington Post's editorial board wrote. "Passing it -- which probably would require overcoming a presidential veto -- would be problematic," the Post wrote, suggesting that it would entangle Congress in the negotiations.
On Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested that Senate Democrats would not vote on the sanctions until negotiations were given a shot.
Over the weekend, a six-month nuclear agreement was reached between Iran, the U.S. and its five negotiating partners, and the Obama administration threatened to veto new sanctions.