Iran deal 'our one opportunity,' Feinstein says

Iran deal 'our one opportunity,' Feinstein says
© Greg Nash

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFederal watchdog calls on Congress, Energy Dept. to overhaul nuclear waste storage process Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam Republicans caught in California's recall trap MORE (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that the historic deal with Iran is the best chance for peacefully preventing Tehran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.


“This is our one opportunity,” Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“It is very likely that regardless of what we do, these nations will drop their sanctions,” she said of the U.S. allies involved in the deal.

The Obama administration revealed its major diplomatic pact with Iran on July 14 from Vienna. It reduces economic sanctions on the Islamic nation in exchange for greater restrictions on its nuclear arms research.

Feinstein argued on Sunday that the deal was made possible by drastic changes in Iranian leadership.

“We have a moderate, elected government that wants to make a change,” she said of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“We’ll see if it is enough to make that change,” she added.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has long antagonized the U.S., Israel and America’s other allies.

Rouhani, in contrast, has struck a more conciliatory tone with Washington since his election in 2013.

Secretary of State John Kerry spent 20 months leading U.S. efforts at the bargaining table with Iranian diplomats. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia all aided America’s side of the negotiations as part of the so-called P5+1 nations.

Congress is now within a 60-day window for reviewing and analyzing the agreement’s details.