A senior Senate Democrat argued Wednesday that the Senate should delay voting on an Iran sanctions bill as a goodwill gesture following a pair of terrorist attacks on the rogue regime launched by the Islamic State.
"Instead of rubbing salt into a wound, just to say let's wait a few days and consider what to do," Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said Wednesday the Senate floor. "If we were in their shoes, I think we would appreciate that gesture."
ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings at two sites in Iran. ISIS regards itself as part of the Sunni Muslim tradition. Iran, designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism, is the de facto international leader of Shiite Muslims — the chief alternative to Sunni Islam.
"If we were in [Iran's] shoes, I think the idea of them sort of taking this kind of action or step against us on a day that we've been attacked by ISIS would not be well received," Carper said.
The legislation under consideration mandates the imposition of sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program and extend terrorism sanctions pertaining to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. "These steps will allow us to regain the initiative on Iran and push back forcefully against this threat to our security and that of our allies," Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of the bill when it passed out of committee.
Carper emphasized that the timing isn't right. "My read of the Golden Rule, treat other people the way you want to be treated, suggests that this might not be the right day to do this," he said. "This might not be the right day to do this. Next week, maybe. Today, no. And I just call on our leadership to hit the pause button."
The Senate was set to hold a procedural vote on the bill Wednesday morning, but that vote was delayed slightly, until early Wednesday afternoon. The Senate could still vote to pass the bill by the end of this week.