A Democratic minority in the United States Senate on Thursday staved off a united Republican effort to sink the Iran nuclear deal, handing President Barack Obama a welcome foreign policy victory.
Senators voted 58-42 to end debate on a resolution of disapproval opposing the deal, while the Republican leaders needed 60 votes to advance the bill, noted USA Today.
"The Senate has spoken with a clarion voice and declared that the historic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon will stand," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said after Democrats cleared the way for the accord.
The result effectively assures that the deal, in which Iran has agreed to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions, will go into force while sparing Obama the embarrassment of having to use his veto pen against a resolution of disapproval.
House leaders began voting Thursday on a package of bills designed to stop the deal, but that legislation will die without Senate support, the report went on to say. The House split from the Senate on strategy this week, deciding against voting on the disapproval resolution.
The Senate vote came after six hours of passionate debate by opponents and supporters of the Iran deal.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said the deal threatens the security of Israel and the United States because Iran cannot be trusted to keep the agreement.
"If you let this deal go forward, before too long the most radical regime on the planet will have the most lethal weapons available to mankind," Graham, a GOP presidential candidate, said before the vote, according to USA Today. "They will share that technology with terrorists, and it will come here."
Prime Minister David Cameron, President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel published a joint op-ed in the Washington Post, aimed at convincing Congress to back the deal.
"We are confident that the agreement provides the foundation for resolving the conflict on Iran's nuclear program permanently," they wrote.
"This is why we now want to embark on the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, once all national procedures are complete."