Barack Obama secures vital vote to keep Iran nuclear deal

US president Barack Obama has secured a landmark foreign policy victory amid opposition from Republicans and Israel. The win was achieved when Democratic senator Barbara Mikulski became the 34th vote to back the Iran nuclear deal.

Her backing gives supporters the margin they need to uphold an expected Obama veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval Republicans hoped to pass later this month.

And it spells failure for opponents of the international agreement who sought to foil it by turning Congress against it.

Leading that effort was Israel and its allies in the US, who failed to get traction after spending millions of dollars trying.

The agreement signed by Iran, the US and five other world powers limits Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for relief from hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions.

Republicans and Israeli leaders contend concessions made to Iran could empower the country.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” Ms Mikulski said in a statement.

“I have concluded that this joint comprehensive plan of action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favour of this deal.”

Secretary of state John Kerry is sending a letter to all members of Congress outlining US security commitments to Israel and the Gulf Arab states in light of the nuclear deal.


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