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Fate of Iran Sanctions Bill Rests Largely With Reid

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More than any single lawmaker, Reid has kept the Iran sanctions bill at bay.

Dubowitz also warned of the potential for Reid’s and the president’s position to backfire.

“The consequences for the White House of blocking the bill, and attacking senators as warmongers, are that the White House will own the failure if Iran refuses to reach an acceptable deal and ends up with the capacity for a nuclear weapons breakout,” Dubowitz said. “Reid, too, will be complicit in this failure if he is perceived as standing against the majority of his colleagues.”

Reid’s office did not answer a request for comment.

While Reid said in November he would advance a sanctions bill on the floor when lawmakers came back from the Thanksgiving break, that pledge coincided with an attempt to keep any Iran sanctions amendments off the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill.

It also preceded the six-month agreement negotiators reached with Iran in November.

Reid backed off the pledge upon returning from the break. And on Jan. 14, he said of the negotiations that he wanted to “wait and see how this plays out.”

Jonathan Broder contributed to this report.

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