Senate Majority Leader: Iran Deal a ‘Hard Sell’ in Congress

Western diplomats confirmed comments by Iranian officials earlier Sunday that it was likely the agreement on regulating Iran's nuclear program would be signed by Tehran and the P5+1 countries as soon as Monday. According to the diplomats, the negotiating teams were set to issue a joint statement late Sunday or Monday.

However, a member of the American diplomatic team said that he would not make any “commitments as to when and if the deal will be signed.” Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the negotiations were approaching “the moment of truth,” and that there were still a number of issues to be resolved.

What happens after that, however, is unclear, as the deal must be approved by the U.S. Senate – and according to majority leader Mitch McConnell, President Barack H. Obama could have a hard time pushing it through.

A report by Iran's Fars news agency, quoting negotiators, said that Western countries had agreed to remove all economic sanctions from Iran, but that certain “limitations” would remain for the time being, to be removed later on when Iran verifies compliance with the deal.

In addition to Western sanctions, the report said, a UN embargo on Iran in place since 2006 on arms trading with the Islamic Republic would be removed as well, with temporary limitations placed on the arms trade to expire at some point in the future.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that the deal would be a “hard sell” in Congress. “It’s going to be a very hard sell, if it’s completed, in Congress,” McConnell told Fox News. “He can win on Iran and this deal with holding 34 Democrats because that’s the way the approval process is structured.

“I know there will be a strong pull not to go against the president on something as important as this is to him, but I hope there will be enough Democrats willing to look at this objectively,” McConnell added.


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