BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pressure continues to mount on Maryland Senator Ben Cardin to decide which way he will vote on the Iran nuclear deal. Supporters and opponents of the deal continue to hold rallies, trying to help sway his vote.
Derek Valcourt has the messages both sides are sending.
Both sides are growing impatient as the wait for Cardin to announce where he comes down on the deal that faces strong Republican opposition.
The MoveOn.org crowd is the latest to put pressure on Maryland Senator Ben Cardin.
“I think supporting the nuclear treaty is a step away from war and a step toward peace,” said John Barnes.
They demonstrated outside his office and asked him to support the Iran deal.
“It is an alternative to a pre-emptive war,” said Argentine Craig.
Backed by the White House, the agreement would curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the US lifting economic sanctions against the country.
“Many of us are still undecided,” Cardin said.
He holds a key vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and says he’s listening to arguments on both sides.
“Where are you, Ben Cardin, an American, Jewish Senator, and why are you silent?” said one.
Opponents of the deal have held demonstrations of their own. They say it’s bad for the US and bad for Israel.
“We can’t have a situation where a deal with Iran leaves Iran with a nuclear infrastructure, which is what happens here,” said Jay Bernstein.
Both sides have also been taking their arguments to the airwaves. A blitz of ads come during a 60-day review period on the deal.
Cardin tells WJZ he’s still weighing the pros and cons of the deal, saying he likes the concessions and restrictions it places on Iran, but worries it will legitimize what he calls a “rogue country.”
“You’re also providing relief to Iran that they could use for other nefarious-type activities. On the plus side, we’re working with the international community and we want to make sure we stay united against Iran,” Cardin said. “So there are pluses and minuses.”
Cardin says he hopes to have his mind made up in two weeks, before he heads back to Washington.
In the meantime, lobbying groups on both sides of the issue have pledged to spend as much as $40 million on ad campaigns, asking voters to contact their lawmakers.