Iran nuclear deal faces fresh challenges in US

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VIENNA, Jul 15:  : Hours after major powers agreed a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme, the White House on Wednesday launched a campaign to stop sceptics at home and abroad from derailing the long-awaited accord.
The agreement, signed on Tuesday after 18 days of marathon talks in Vienna, aims to ensure Tehran cannot create a nuclear bomb in return for lifting biting sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.
It was hailed by the United States, the European Union, Iran and NATO — all of whom hope the deal will end decades of bad blood between the Middle East’s major Shiite Muslim power and the West — but branded a “historic mistake” by Tehran’s archfoe Israel.
US President Barack Obama said the accord meant “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off”.
“This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,” he said in an address to the nation.
Hours after the deal was signed in Vienna the US had already begun its diplomatic offensive in the United Nations, where its diplomats were readying a draft resolution setting out timelines.
The document, expected in the coming days, would also replace the existing framework of Security Council sanctions with the restrictions agreed during negotiations in Vienna, US Ambassador Samantha Power said.
In Washington, Obama faces a challenge from Republicans who control Congress, who have said they will reject the deal as it gives Tehran too much room to manoeuvre and does not safeguard American security interests.
House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said Tuesday the agreement was “likely to fuel a nuclear arms race around the world”.
Congress has 60 days to review the deal reached between Tehran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to end a more than 13-year standoff, but the president has vowed to veto any attempt to block it.
Obama will hold a press conference on Wednesday to convince Americans, allies and sceptics about the benefits of the deal.

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