Franken and Klobuchar come out in support of Iran nuclear deal


Minnesota's two U.S. Senators publicly came out in support of the negotiated Iran nuclear agreement this week – bolstering support in the Senate for a deal that's been heavily scrutinized and risks not having enough votes to survive.

Franken, in his second term as senator, detailed his support in an op-ed for CNN Thursday, saying his decision came "after careful review."

He writes: "Many have expressed reservations about the deal, and I share some of those reservations. It isn't a perfect agreement. But it is a strong one. This agreement is, in my opinion, the most effective, realistic way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon anytime in the next 15 years."

Franken, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency notes, is the fifth Jewish senator to publicly come out in support of the deal. There are currently 10 Jewish senators – nine are Democrats, the other is an independent.

Earlier this week, Klobuchar put out her own explanation for supporting the deal.

"While the agreement is by no means perfect, I have concluded that it is our best available option to put the brakes on Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon and that is why I will support it," she said.

What's in the deal exactly?

Proponents, including the White House, say it effectively prevents Iran from building a nuclear bomb by blocking potential paths to its creation, and requiring international inspectors be allowed to monitor a number of sites.

Critics, Newsweek says, argue the inspection system is weak and the time limits problematic. There's also criticism that it puts Israel in harm's way.

A writer over at went through the deal and pulled out all the complicated political terms, then explained them in plain English. So click over to that if you want a clean, simple explanation.

This embed is invalid

If you want to read the full deal, you can do so here.

Counting votes in the Senate

The deal has been heavily scrutinized since being announced in July.

Lawmakers against it, most (but not all) of whom are Republicans, have threatened to sink the deal by passing a congressional resolution of disapproval, the Huffington Post writes. Because GOPers are expected to all fall on that side, they have enough votes to pass the resolution when it comes up in September.

However, as president, Obama can issue a veto – and if he does, both the House and Senate would need at least two-thirds of their members to vote in favor of overriding that veto, the Huffington Post explains.

That doesn't look likely to happen in the House. In the Senate, things are much tighter, which is why Obama is wants the support of Democrats such as Franken and Klobuchar.

Obama needs 34 senators supporting the deal in order to keep it alive. That's enough to prevent opponents from having enough votes to override a potential veto.

The Hill is keeping track of support in the Senate, and currently has 19 senators in favor of it. Eight more are "leaning yes," pushing it to 27. Eighteen are unclear or undecided, and one Democrat has come out against it.

For math's sake: 29 Republicans are against it, another 23 are leaning no, and two are unknown or undecided.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.


Franken and Klobuchar will support a Neil Gorsuch filibuster

Here's how Democrats will try to block Neil Gorsuch – and how Republicans could get around it.

American hikers held in Iran thank Minnesota supporters

Minnesota-native Shane Bauer, fiance Sarah Shourd and friend Josh Fattal held an open house in Shakopee to thank everyone in the community who supported them during their 780 days behind bars in an Iranian prison on espionage charges.

Franken, Klobuchar urge American Crystal Sugar to get deal done

Congressional leaders are calling on American Crystal Sugar to return to negotiations with union workers. 90 percent of the company's 1,300 locked out workers voted against the latest offer Monday.