Kerry begs Congress to back Iran nuke deal

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry has warned scep­ti­cal US law­mak­ers not to refuse Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s con­tentious nu­clear deal with Iran, in­sist­ing Amer­ica has no other op­tions to pre­vent Tehran from ac­quir­ing a nu­clear weapon.

Kerry tes­ti­fied for the sec­ond time in a week in front of the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee as part of the Obama ad­mi­nis- tra­tion’s ac­cord.

“If Congress does not sup­port the deal, we would see this deal die, with no other op­tions,” he said.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion picked up crit­i­cal sup­port for the plan from Repub­li­can San­der Levin, a strong sup­porter of Is­rael, who re­ferred to his Jewish back­ground in an­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion.

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“I be­lieve the agree­ment of­fers the best op­tion to pre­vent Iran from ac­quir­ing a nu­clear weapon,” Levin said. “Is­rael’s se­cu­rity has and al­ways will be of crit­i­cal im­por­tance to me and our coun­try. I be­lieve that Is­rael, the re­gion and the world are far more se­cure if Iran does not move to­ward pos­ses­sion of a nu­clear weapon. I be­lieve the agree­ment is the best way to achieve that.”

Congress has be­gun a 60- day re­view of the in­ter­na­tional agree­ment that curbs Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram in ex­change for bil­lions of dol­lars in re­lief from sanc­tions sti­fling its econ­omy.

The de­ci­sion is prov­ing es­pe­cially tough for those who have a large num­ber of Jewish con­stituen­cies af­ter Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu called it a “his­toric mis­take”.

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