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Int’l Push to Preserve Deal
National

Int’l Push to Preserve Deal

Diplomats from the major powers engaged in nuclear talks with Iran leading to a landmark deal last month met with wavering US Democratic lawmakers in a push to keep the deal intact. US lawmakers have until September 17 to vote whether to reject the accord, eliminating President Barack Obama’s ability to waiver congressional sanctions against Iran, which is an essential element of the agreement. Top diplomats from Russia and China joined the rare meeting of envoys from the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on Capitol Hill this week with roughly 30 Senate Democrats to tamp down concerns over the nuclear agreement, Foreign Policy reported. “The prospect of the rejection of a deal makes us nervous,” Philipp Ackermann, the acting German ambassador to the US, said Thursday. “It would be a nightmare for every European country if this is rejected.” The closed-door meeting, which was held on Tuesday, sought to dispel criticisms and answer questions ahead of the congressional vote. British Ambassador Peter Westmacott insisted any chances of getting a better deal were “far-fetched,” according to two individuals in the room. He also speculated that international sanctions against Tehran would fall apart even if the US Congress blocked the deal — a view seconded by Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The French Embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Frederic Dore, maintained that world powers secured the best deal possible with Iran. So far, the push by the United States’ European allies and Russian and Chinese officials appears to have been effective. On Thursday, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand alluded to the meeting in a statement pledging her support for the nuclear deal — a crucial pickup for the White House.

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