Now that a nuclear deal has been worked out between Iran and six world powers led by the United States, the political selling job begins – especially in the US, where Congress has a say on whether the agreement to lift economic sanctions in return for inspections gets implemented.
While it’s Congress that has the power to influence the outcome in the US, lobbying of the American public plays an important part as well.
President Obama, whose foreign policy legacy may hinge on an agreement designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, began his public lobbying with a formal White House statement, then continued with a press conference in which he made sure that Iran was topic number one.
He continued that effort Saturday with his weekly radio/Internet address, taking on his critics point by point.
“Today, Iran has enough nuclear material to produce up to 10 nuclear weapons. With this deal, they’ll have to ship 98 percent of that material out of the country – leaving them with a fraction of what it takes to make even one weapon,” Obama said. “With this deal, they’ll have to repurpose two key nuclear facilities so they can’t produce materials that could be used for a nuclear weapon. So this deal actually pushes Iran further away from a bomb.”
“You might hear from critics that Iran could just ignore what’s required and do whatever they want. That they’re inevitably going to cheat,” he continued. “Well, that’s wrong, too. With this deal, we will have unprecedented, 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. With this deal, international inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain. The verification process set up by this deal is comprehensive and it is intrusive – precisely so we can make sure Iran keeps its commitments.”
Here and in other venues, Obama is pushing against considerable skepticism – and among many members of Congress (virtually all Republicans), outright opposition.
SOURCE: Brad Knickerbocker
Christian Science Monitor