Baku. 23 July. REPORT.AZ/ Congressional Republicans forcefully challenged President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday as the White House dispatched a Cabinet-level lobbying team to build support for the agreement to ease sanctions in exchange for concessions on the Islamic nation's nuclear program, Report informs citing foreign media.
"No serious person truly believes" that the United States faces a choice between implementing the agreement and going to war with Iran, said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, rebutting statements from Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Several other Republicans found fault with the deal in remarks on the Senate floor, including Sen. John Cornyn, who said there was a third option available. He noted the deal did not require the dismantling of Tehran's nuclear infrastructure, and said, "There are tougher sanctions that will bring Iran to the table for a better deal and a good deal."
Across the Capitol, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer met privately with several House Republicans. One participant in the meeting, Rep. Dave Brat, said the diplomat's main point had been to "pay less attention to all the details" like nuclear centrifuges, and more attention to "who's on the other side of the ethical debate, and that is Iran." Tehran is opposed to the existence of Israel.
The remarks preceded closed-door meetings in the House and the Senate with Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, both of whom were at the bargaining table with Iranians, as well as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The day's sessions marked the beginning of the administration's formal attempt to preserve the deal in what is likely to become a battle for enough votes to sustain a veto of Republican-crafted legislation that would torpedo it.
Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, acknowledged that the text of the side deal between the IAEA and Iran over past military activity wouldn't be given to Congress. "These documents are not public," Rice said, adding that the U.S. was satisfied with the agreement and would brief Congress about its contents. "There is nothing in that regard that we know that they won't know."
She did not address the alleged Parchin side deal.