Iran Deal Backers 'Will Have Blood on Their Hands'
WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress are debating what many consider the most important vote of their careers: President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.
With the vote just one week away, both sides are applying pressure.
Meanwhile, the issue has also spread into the 2016 presidential campaign. In a rare move, GOP hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump joined forces on Capitol Hill to fight the deal.
"This Iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic," Cruz said.
The deal gives Iran hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions. Cruz says lawmakers who support it will have blood on their hands.
"The Obama administration will become quite literally the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism," the Texas lawmaker said.
In his own unique way, Trump kept his remarks more general.
"We are led by very, very stupid people," the business mogul said. "Very, very stupid people."
Trump agreed with Cruz that the nuclear deal should have included freedom for Americans, such as Pastor Saeed Abedini jailed in Iran.
"If I win the presidency, I guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before I ever take office," he vowed.
Meanwhile, Iran is beating its chest this week, with Ayatollah Khamenei predicting Israel will cease to exist in 25 years.
He also says Iran is done negotiating with the Great Satan, the United States.
"The big Iranian nation ousted this Great Satan," he said.
In a major victory for the president, more than enough senators have announced they'll support the deal. Still, opponents have launched a major lobbying campaign this week aimed at changing minds.
The vast majority of Americans are convinced the deal is bad. A new poll shows just 21 percent approve of it.
"A deal is when you get something in return," one person said. "We got nothing in return."
Another opponent observed, "They (Iran) think they have to make something awful happen to bring the Twelfth Imam to save the Muslim world. A nuclear bomb would be a great way to get that started and I'm afraid that's exactly what they're up to."
Presidential candidates from both parties promise to be tough on Iran.
"We should anticipate that Iran will test the next president. They'll want to see how far they can bend the rules. That won't work if I'm in the White House," Hillary Clinton said.
While many Democrats are lining up with the Obama administration, several high profile lawmakers like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer are voting no.
"If Iran's true intent is to get a nuclear weapon, under this agreement, it must simply exercise patience" Schumer warned.
The Senate has until next Thursday to take action on the deal. In an interesting twist, they're off Monday and Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The world will be waiting to see if that break makes an impact.