Obama to tell Congress rejecting Iran accord a ‘historic mistake’

US President Barack Obama will tell Congress that it would be a “historic mistake” to vote down the nuclear agreement with Iran as a resolution of disapproval is introduced in the House of Representatives.

During a speech at American University in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Obama will argue that lawmakers’ decision on the Iran accord “should not even be a close call,” the White House said in a statement.

The US president will cast the congressional vote as “the most consequential foreign policy debate since the decision to go to war in Iraq.”

The speech will come as Republican leaders in the House and Senate have signaled they would move forward with resolutions to block the nuclear pact with Iran after the August recess.

Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the disapproval resolution on Tuesday, setting up a showdown with the White House. If it passes, Obama would be unable to temporarily waive most US sanctions.

Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) speaks during a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill June 2, 2015.

“Everything we have learned about this agreement has given Congress and the American people cause for grave concern,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.) said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is clear that this is a bad deal.”

Sen. McCarthy exits a press conference after a closed meeting with fellow Republicans, on Capitol Hill, July 28, 2015. (AFP photo)

The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, also said the upper chamber “in all likelihood” will consider a disapproval measure.

Under legislation President Obama signed in May, Congress has until September 17 to review and vote to either approve or disapprove of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced by Iran and the P5+1 group of countries on July 14.

Obama has launched a campaign of private entreaties and public advocacy to persuade Democratic lawmakers to support the nuclear agreement, an effort to counter a multi-million dollar onslaught from critics – most notably the powerful Israel lobby – to sink the accord.

Congressional Republicans assert that they have enough votes to pass a resolution of disapproval, but the White House insists it has enough Democratic support to uphold a presidential veto.

Meanwhile, a number of Democratic senators publicly voiced support for the Iran agreement on Tuesday.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, one of the Democrats key to blocking a veto override in Congress, said he will back the agreement.

“I acknowledge that this had been one of the most important preparations and will be one of the most important votes that I will cast in the Senate,” said Nelson.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) also came out in support of the Iran accord Tuesday.

“In this deal, America has honored its best traditions and shown that patient diplomacy can achieve what isolation and hostility cannot. For this reason, I will support it,” said Kaine, who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. Boxer said she had been “convinced” to back the agreement after talking with diplomats from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

By Press TV