Tuesday, 12 February, 2019

Obama celebrates Iran deal at State Department


US President Obama made a brief swing through the State Department Thursday evening for a private victory reception on the Iran deal held by Secretary of State John Kerry for all the agency staff involved in the intense, months-long negotiations, Washingtonexaminer reports.

The State Department stop was not on the president’s public schedule, and reporters were not allowed to accompany the president inside. Reporters were instead held in vans for nearly 20 minutes before Obama rejoined the motorcade and headed back to the White House.

The president made the unscheduled stop as he was headed back to the White House from a closed-door roundtable at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

A last-ditch GOP attempt to derail the Iran nuclear deal failed in the Senate Thursday, and defeated Republicans said they would move on and leave the fight against the Iran accord to the next president.

Senators voted 53-44 to block a measure preventing the Obama administration from lifting sanctions against Iran unless the country recognizes Israel as a state and releases American hostages. A second vote, on a disapproval resolution against the deal, also fell short, on a 56-42 vote. In both cases, 60 votes were needed to advance to final passage but minority Democrats largely held together to prevent it.

The nuclear deal between Iran, the U.S. and five world powers was reached in July after months of stalled negotiations. It would lift more than $100 billion in international economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for commitments to reduce its capacity to develop a nuclear bomb.

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