The announcement of a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 sparked angry condemnations from Israel, and promises for an intense lobbying campaign targeting the Republican-led US Congress. They don’t appear to have much convincing to do with the Republican leadership, as virtually all of them were quick to lash out at the deal as soon as it was announced.
Majority leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (R – KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R – CA) both insisted that they would use “every tool we have” to kill the deal, and condemned the administration for agreeing to it. Congress is not expected to vote on the deal until September.
The loudest and most shrill comments came from Republican presidential hopefuls, who to a man issued statements vowing opposition to the deal, claiming that it either threatens national security, or threatens Israel. or is just plain objectionable in some vague way.
The desperation to condemn the deal centers on the Republican hopefuls seeking to get funding from hawkish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of the Israeli government who has called repeatedly for a US nuclear attack against Iran.
Adelson is one of the world’s richest men, and is expected to throw large amounts of money behind his pro-war candidate of choice during primary season. Everyone seems to see condemning the deal as an important step toward getting Adelson’s approval.
Despite Republican leaders expressing confidence in their ability to kill the deal, it rests largely on their ability to court Democrats to their side, and needing a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to “veto” the Iran pact means that it is extremely unlikely, even with intense Israeli lobbying.