Obama gains Senate backing to secure veto over Iran deal

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Obama gains Senate backing to secure veto over Iran deal

Ex-president Barack Obama
Ex-president Barack Obama

ObamaSpeechThumbnailU.S. President Barack Obama was celebrating an important milestone in the battle for the Iran nuclear deal this week, after he won enough Senate backing to secure his veto when Congress rejects it.

Israeli officials have joined forces with wealthy pro-Israel lobby groups such as AIPAC to campaign against the agreement, reached between Iran and world powers in Geneva in July.

Republicans, who dominate the U.S. Congress, had said they would torpedo the deal, an action which Obama said would elicit a presidential veto. Enough Senators now support him to uphold that veto thereafter.

“After considering the alternatives, I will support this agreement,” said Democrat Barbara Mikulski on Wednesday, as she became the 34th Senator to say they will do so. Democrats are now aiming for 41 votes, which would block the disapproval vote in the Senate by filibuster, saving Obama from having to use his veto.

However, in a sign that Israel supporters in the U.S. had not given up hope of killing the deal, lobbyists were this week circulating draft legislation aimed at imposing new sanctions on Iran.

Such a move would cause the Iranians to walk away from their obligations, and would not meet with support from the five world powers – China, Russia, UK, France and Germany – with whom the U.S. negotiated.

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