US Congressional Democrats are evidently uniting to defend a presidential veto against any legislative action aimed at derailing the Iran nuclear deal.
“More and more of them [House Democrats] have confirmed to me that they will be there to sustain the veto,” said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to reporters on Sunday.
According to Pelosi, House and Senate Republicans are aiming to push through a “resolution disapproval,” thereby blocking the Obama administration from finalizing a brokered pact between Iran and the P5+1.
US President Barack Obama has promised to veto any bill blocking the nuclear agreement. US lawmakers would be forced to produce a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of Congress to override the veto.
As it stands, Republicans control the House and Senate. However, they would need at least 44 Democratic representatives and 13 Democratic senators to claim a majority vote against the veto.
According to White House officials, the president has met with more than 80 lawmakers to garner support for the agreement. He also recently hosted a reception at the White House for some 100 House Democrats.
The nuclear deal aims to curtail the Islamic Republic’s path to obtaining a nuclear weapon. In exchange for lifting international sanctions, Iran has promised to reduce its nuclear capabilities.
Despite heavy criticism from Israel, Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations who are opposed to the agreement, the Obama administration has expressed its confidence that the security of the Middle East is safer under the nuclear accord.
To assuage fears of several of its Middle Eastern allies, US Secretary of State John Kerry is in the region to promote the agreement. Kerry met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri on Sunday.
“There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were,” Kerry told reporters during a joint news conference with Shukri.
“The United States and Egypt recognize that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities in the region – and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remain wholly peaceful,” Kerry said. “If Iran is destabilizing, it is far better to have an Iran that doesn’t have a nuclear weapon than one that does.”
Notably, the secretary of state will not be making a visit to Israel while in the Middle East.