P5+1 lobby Congress

The White House says it’s confident it has the votes to override Republicans who reject the historic accord to limit Iran’s nuclear program agreed to by world powers and Tehran. But some of America’s closest allies are less certain, and are clearing their schedules to meet with wavering Democratic lawmakers in a push to keep the deal intact. Some of Washington’s less reliable partners are worried too: Top diplomats from Russia and China joined a rare meeting of world powers’ envoys on Capitol Hill this week with roughly 30 Senate Democrats to tamp down concerns over the nuclear agreement. “The prospect of the rejection of a deal makes us nervous,” Philipp Ackermann, the acting German ambassador to the United States, said Thursday. “It would be a nightmare for every European country if this is rejected.” The closed-door meeting, which was held Tuesday, sought to dispel criticisms and answer questions ahead of an expected September vote by Congress. That vote will determine whether to continue current U.S. sanctions against Iran and blow up the nuclear agreement, or let the sanctions expire over time as promised in exchange for Tehran rolling back its nuclear program. During the meeting, which was confirmed to Foreign Policy by an aide to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a number of Democrats expressed genuine confusion about how world powers would react if Congress rejected the deal, and whether a “better deal” could be struck in the future. Surprised by this lack of clarity, the diplomats pushed back on a number of counts”.

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