Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:50AM
Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel:  “The significance of the decision in the House is one of extreme embarrassment.”
Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel: “The significance of the decision in the House is one of extreme embarrassment.”
  • Embed

Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel says the voting in the US House of Representatives against the Iran nuclear agreement shows the influence the Israel lobby still has over American lawmakers.

Gravel, a candidate in the 2008 US presidential election, made the remarks during a telephone interview with Press TV on Saturday, a day after the Republican-dominated House of Representatives rejected the historic nuclear accord overwhelmingly.

The House on Friday voted against approving the Iran agreement by 162 to 269 votes, with 25 Democratic lawmakers joining Republicans in an attempt to show the lack of support the nuclear deal has in the chamber.

The House also passed a measure by a vote of 247 to 186 that would prevent President Barack Obama from removing nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Iran.

The House vote is symbolic that will have no consequence for the implementation of the historic nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 -- the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany -- in Vienna in mid-July.

“The significance of the decision in the House is one of extreme embarrassment,” Gravel said.

“The fact that the House voted for this, all they have shown is their political opinions, it has no validity in law and it’s a disgrace,” the 85-year-old politician stated.

“It is clearly led by AIPAC’s influence on the House members and the Congress,” he added.

“It is an extreme embarrassment and it won’t affect our going forward with the Iran agreement,” the veteran politician concluded.

Democrats on Thursday blocked a Republican resolution to reject the deal, ensuring that the historic agreement can be implemented without Obama having to use his veto power.

After the vote, President Barack Obama said in a statement, “This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.”

Republican senators, who only a few months earlier vowed to muster 67 votes to override a presidential veto, fell two votes short needed to break a Democratic filibuster, which is a tactic that involves legislators obstructing the passage of a bill by speaking at inordinate length when the measure is debated.

This means the legislation aimed at sabotaging the historic agreement is essentially dead, and that the deal will now take effect without a veto showdown between the Republican-controlled Congress and the Obama administration.

The move delivered the Obama administration a major foreign policy victory and exposed the decreasing power of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that spent millions of dollars to prevent the accord.