Republican lawmakers in the US Senate have launched efforts to seek Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s help to torpedo a possible nuclear deal with Iran, a report says.
Senate Republicans are admitting that they probably will not get enough votes to cancel President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran unless they can swing a key Democratic figure against the agreement, the Washington-based newspaper, The Hill, reported on Friday.
They are devising plans to tie the former secretary of state to the nuclear accord and use this to pressure her to oppose it.
Republicans need 67 Senate votes to overrule the expected presidential veto and keep sanctions against Iran in place.
Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – have been engaged in crucial talks in the Austrian capital Vienna towards reaching a landmark agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
The negotiating sides missed an initial deadline of June 30 and all parties agreed on a new July 7 deadline. However, negotiations will continue for more days as some issues remain unresolved.
Republicans are expecting that the Obama administration will soon announce that a deal between Iran and the P5+1 has been reached.
“It could be a good policy strategy. It’s not going to be hard to come up with 34 Democrats to sustain a veto,” said a senior Republican aide.
“The best chance of defeating it may be the inside embarrassment factor, getting Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer to walk into the Oval Office and tell the president we can’t sustain this,” the aide added, referring to Senator Charles Schumer.
The New York lawmaker is set to be the Senate Democrats’ next leader after the November 2016 elections.
Republicans claim that if the Obama administration will strike a weak deal with Iran, Clinton, who served as the secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, will also get the blame.
Senator John Barrasso, a member of the Senate Republican leadership and the Foreign Relations Committee, said the goal of nuclear negotiations “was to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
“To me anything short of that is a complete failure and falls at the feet of Hillary Clinton and President Obama,” added Barrasso.
Senator Tom Cotton, known for his close links with neoconservatives, said that “President Obama has primary responsibility but Hillary Clinton also has large responsibility because she started the secret negotiations in Oman that led us to this point.”
Cotton opposes talks with Iran and has been campaigning for airstrikes against the Islamic Republic.
The Arkansas senator reportedly received one million dollars from the Emergency Committee for Israel, an American neoconservative group associated with the Israel lobby, just before the last US election.
In a bizarre move in March, a group of 47 Republican senators sent an open letter to Iran’s leaders, warning that whatever agreement reached with Obama would be a “mere executive agreement” and that Congress could ultimately walk away from any deal with Tehran upon review.
Cotton claimed that he had drafted the letter. However, independent analysts say the letter was actually written by William Kristol, a US neoconservative political analyst and the founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel.
By Press TV