US House of Representatives Republicans claim they have secured the necessary votes to reject Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Congressman Peter Roskam, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, announced that a resolution has been signed by 218 lawmakers disapproving the landmark deal. There are currently 434 members in the House.
"Time is not the friend of this deal. The more time embers spend evaluating this agreement, the more they realize it's an historic mistake. While the Administration continues to flaunt a false choice between this deal and war, Secretary Kerry said repeatedly over the course of the negotiations that he would walk away from a bad deal. If that was the case, then surely there was an alternative besides this dangerous agreement and war. Congress and the American people believe a better agreement is still achievable, and we can start by walking away from this one. This is why a majority of the House is prepared to vote against this deal. We will do everything in our power to stop an accord that so utterly fails to shut down Iran's nuclear program," Roskam said.
Earlier, Obama made it clear that he would veto any legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran or prevent him from suspending existing ones. But if the naysayers obtain a two-thirds majority of 290, they would override Obama’s veto and practically block the deal.
On the other hand, the Obama administration is working full force to convince lawmakers to back the deal before Congress leaves Washington for its August recess. In the past weeks Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and several other administration officials have visited Capitol Hill.
The nuclear deal that was reached on July 14 between Iran and the P5+1 powers -Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - is aimed at monitoring Iran's most sensitive nuclear work for over 12 years in exchange for immediate relief of the country from economic sanctions that have long crippled its economy.
The deal is under congressional review and the legislative body until Sept. 17 to ratify or reject it.