“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” said outgoing Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as a lead-in to her announcement that she will back the deal, which — barring an unforeseen defection — gives the Obama administration the 34 votes it needs in Congress to stave off Republican efforts to block it.
Mikulski’s historic decision comes ironically the day after Iran Revolutionary Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari publicly declared that “America is still the Great Satan.”
Opposition to the agreement among Republicans, among ex-military leaders and in Israel remains widespread. But unless a supporter flips his or her vote, Obama would appear to have the crucial coalition in place to preserve the agreement in the congressional vote.
[Secretary of State John] Kerry, meanwhile, is delivering what is billed as a major policy speech Wednesday in Philadelphia. He’s also sending a letter to all members of Congress outlining U.S. security commitments to Israel and the Gulf Arab states in light of the nuclear deal.
His speech will focus on how, in their view, the international agreement makes the U.S. and its allies safer and how the deal is being mischaracterized by some opponents.
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