Even as the U.S. Congress appears close to sealing the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterates the ''pros and cons'' of the accord for Congress and the American public. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday (September 2) reiterated the case for congressional passage of the Iran nuclear deal, asking Congress and the American public to "consider the facts" as they make their decision. "Judge for yourself where we were two years ago and where we are now and where we can be in the future," Kerry said from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. He speaking as Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said she will support the Iran nuclear deal, giving President Barack Obama the 34 Senate votes needed to sustain a veto of any congressional resolution disapproving the deal. Thirty-two Senate Democrats and two independents who vote with the Democrats now back the agreement. Kerry gave his audience an extensive, line by line accounting of the "pros and cons" of the nuclear deal, saying the agreement reached between Iran and world powers in July would make monitoring Iran's disputed nuclear program much easier than without the deal. The agreement, announced on July 14, exchanges sanctions relief for Iran for Tehran's agreeing to curtail its nuclear program. Mikulski's backing means Obama's fellow Democrats will have enough votes to protect the deal in Congress, where lawmakers have until Sept. 17 to vote on a "resolution of disapproval," which would weaken the international pact by eliminating Obama's ability to temporarily waive many U.S. sanctions on Iran. With Republicans virtually united in opposition, Democrats have spent the summer rallying support for an agreement seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for the president. Support by 34 senators means a veto would be sustained. A resolution would also fail if deal supporters can muster 41 votes in the Senate to block it using a procedural motion. Senate leadership aides on both sides of the issue said it was still too early to say whether that would happen.