Rubio, Cruz rail against Reid on Iran sanctions

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) bashed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Wednesday for not allowing a Senate vote on Iran sanctions.

“We need to act immediately to re-enact sanctions against Iran,” Cruz said on the Senate floor. “There is one reason only why we have not done so, and that is the senior senator from Nevada is single-handedly blocking a vote on the bill.”

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The Senate is considering an omnibus veterans bill, but Republicans want to have an amendment vote on a bill that would also increase sanctions against Iran to deter the country from enriching uranium in an effort to develop nuclear weapons.

The administration has asked Democrats to delay the vote until after the six-month negotiations between the two countries ends.

Reid has said Iran doesn’t have anything to do with veterans’ issues and has said he won’t allow the amendment vote.

“It is relevant because it is our men and women in uniform that we’re going to turn to when this goes, as I know it will,” Rubio said. “But if we put in place sanctions … we may be able to delay that and even to prevent it. Otherwise, that day will come.”

Rubio predicted that if a deal between the administration and Iran doesn’t include the complete dismantling of Iran’s enrichment capabilities, Iran would later restart its pursuit of a nuclear weapon after sanctions have been lifted.

Cruz added, if Iran develops nuclear weapons, it could sell them to Venezuela, which he said would then put the United States in direct danger because of its closer proximity.

Iran is supporting the Venezuelan government, which is trying to crush an uprising of pro-democratic groups.

"The United States should do all it can to help the people of Venezuela," Cruz said. "This is a time for American leadership to speak out in defense of freedom."

The administration has denounced the violent backlash of the Venezuelan government against protesters.

Both Cruz and Rubio are considered possible contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.