Obama trying to build political support for Iran deal--after the fact

President Barack Obama moved to keep a deal with Iran over its nuclear program from being undermined, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said lawmakers would weigh whether new sanctions are needed. 
“We cannot close the door on diplomacy,” Obama said during a speech today in San Francisco. “Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically,” though it is not right for national security. The agreement reached over the weekend will place the first real constraints on Iran’s nuclear program in a decade, he said. 
Reid said today that members would “take a look at this to see if we need stronger sanctions” after the Senate returns from its Thanksgiving holiday break on Dec. 9. 
Obama’s aides have been calling lawmakers urging them to hold off passing more sanctions against Iran. The president spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the six-month interim deal with Iran “an historic mistake.” 
The agreement among the U.S. and other world powers with Iran provides a foreign policy achievement for a president whose standing has been damaged by the flawed rollout of his health-care law. Any political boost may be limited because the accord is temporary and the negotiating partner isn’t trusted by the U.S. public.
In his conversation with Netanyahu, Obama “underscored that the United States will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions,”Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, told reporters traveling with Obama.

Some Democratic lawmakers with significant Jewish constituencies have joined in criticism of the agreement, including Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who said he was “disappointed” by a deal that “does not seem proportional.”
Netanyahu was very upset with Obama and is sending a team of Israelis to put down a marker on what absolutely must be in any final agreement.  I think the chances are remote Iran would agree to Israeli conditions and they will be happy to walk off with the $20 to $40 billion they are getting out of the deal.

I also believe that the Obamacare debacle has made it much more difficult for him to persuade Democrats in the Senate to go along with him on a deal they think is a bad one.  I suspect they will pass the tougher sanctions that are pending and Obama will try to use them as a bargaining tool with Iran.

The Daily Mail reports:

'Somebody has to make sure the Middle East doesn't explode': Furious lawmakers unite to demand new tough sanctions on Iran hours after Obama strikes nuclear deal

The negative reaction is bipartisan and in both houses.


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