U.S. House Democratic leader presses for Iran deal support

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Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote to colleagues on Monday backing the nuclear agreement with Iran, as congressional Republicans railed against a U.N. vote on the deal.

“As you may be aware, I believe that this agreement is a major accomplishment. I am pleased that the response thus far from House Democrats has been so positive,” she said in the letter released by her office.

Pelosi’s backing is considered essential for the landmark deal to survive congressional review.

The U.N. Security Council backed Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers on Monday, but the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards attacked the resolution, underlining powerful opposition to the deal.

U.S. Republican lawmakers expressed anger at the U.N. vote. Several issued statements calling it an “affront to the American people” because it took place before the end of the congressional review period.

Senator Marco Rubio, a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, called the day of the vote “Obama’s Capitulation Monday.”

In the letter, Pelosi noted that 100 former U.S. ambassadors, both Democrats and Republicans, wrote last week supporting the pact and that dozens of national security experts from both parties issued a statement backing it on Monday.

Congress received the Iran nuclear agreement on Sunday and will have 60 days from Monday to decide whether to approve or reject it.

Republicans control majorities in both houses of Congress. But if they pass a resolution disapproving of the nuclear agreement, they would need dozens of Democrats to vote with them to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto.

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