Kerry continues job as chief salesman of Iran deal

Fresh from a spirited defense of the Iranian nuclear deal on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State John Kerry is selling the accord to top U.S. foreign policy leaders while telling lawmakers that if they don’t back the deal, Washington will have “squandered the best chance” it has to peacefully solve the nuclear standoff with Tehran.


Kerry is to speak about the deal on Friday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and then meet with leaders from the American Jewish Committee and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Some Jewish groups have vehemently opposed the deal with Iran, which has pledged to destroy Israel.


Kerry has been front-and-center of the Obama administration’s campaign to sell the deal to skeptical lawmakers. Congress has started a 60-day review of the agreement, which lifts economic sanctions against Iran if it curbs its nuclear program’s capacity to build a nuclear weapon.


Slowly, a number of congressional Democrats have lined up behind the deal.


Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., said he supports the agreement and described the upcoming vote in Congress as a “vote on something that will avoid war.”


At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, Kerry said that it is “fantasy plain and simple” to claim that President Barack Obama failed to insist on enough restraints on Iran’s nuclear program before agreeing to lift economic sanctions long in place.


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