A newly-released Pew poll indicates that support for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers has plummeted. As of September, only 21 percent of Americans approve of the deal, a fall from a 33 percent approval rating just six weeks ago, the survey suggests.
Support for the agreement fell across the political spectrum (among Republicans, Democrats and Independents).
The poll also indicated there is little confidence the Iranian leaders will uphold their side of the agreement. Only two percent said they have a “great deal” of confidence Iranian leaders will abide by the agreement compared to 72 percent who said they are not-too confident that Iran will uphold the agreement. Fifty-one percent indicated they have little or no confidence in the U.S. and international agencies’ ability to monitor Iranian compliance with the agreement.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the House of Representatives who had planned to debate and vote on a resolution to disapprove the Iran deal on Wednesday were met by a surprise revolution in their own ranks by lawmakers who decided to implement a new strategy against the deal.
The new strategy involves:
1. A resolution that says U.S. President Barack Obama violated the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act by not giving Congress details of the entire agreement. Two side deals concerning crucial issues — verification and military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program — have been kept secret from Congress. The Nuclear Agreement Review Act stipulates all parts of the agreement are to be reviewed by Congress, including side deals.
The law also stipulates that once Congress receives the entire agreement, members have 60 days to review the deal and vote on it. Although the deal will be disapproved in Congress, Obama will use his veto power to negate that disapproval. At present, there are not enough votes in Congress to override a presidential veto.
The White House says the deadline for the 60-day review is Sept. 17. Republicans say the process hasn’t started yet since the entire agreement wasn’t handed over as required by the Nuclear Review Act. The White House has dismissed this argument. "If Congress does not vote, this agreement goes into effect. It's as simple as that," says Whitehouse Spokesman Eric Schultz.
2. A resolution of approval for the agreement. The purpose of such a resolution, which will be defeated, is to register a symbolic vote against the agreement due to the fact that Congress was not given the entire agreement as required by the law. (Voting to disapprove the agreement gives more legitimacy to the agreement, say the lawmakers. Defeating a vote of approval expresses the fact that the agreement was not in compliance with the law as it was handed over to Congress with parts that were missing.)
3. A resolution to prevent the president from lifting sanctions. This resolution would also have to be quickly passed by the Senate before September 17. It would face a certain presidential veto. Still, Congress would be on record as opposing sanctions relief.
In addition, lawmakers are considering suing the president for failing to comply with the law. “That is the law the president signed—that all relevant documents have to come to Congress before the clock starts ticking,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.). “Those documents never came.”
The new House strategy comes at the same time that Senate Democrats have garnered enough support for the deal to support a filibuster, which means that the Senate would be prevented from voting on the deal.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to social media this week to tweet about the destruction of Israel. A poster tweeted by Khamenei’s Twitter account read in broken English, “[Israel] will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.”
Khamenei also tweeted “’US is the Great Satan,’ some insist on depicting this Great Satan as an angel.” Another tweet read: “We would negotiate and reach agreement in different levels of ‘state, religion or ethnic groups’ with all countries but the Great Satan.”