Diplomats from the five countries that negotiated the Iran nuclear agreement with the United States have launched a coordinated lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, with some warning lawmakers that if Congress scuttles the accord, there may be no chance of resuming talks to get a better deal.
“The option of going back to negotiations is close to zero,” Philipp Ackermann, the deputy ambassador of the German Embassy, said in a briefing Thursday with reporters.
Ackermann and the deputy chiefs of mission from the other nations involved in negotiating the Iran deal briefed 25 Democratic senators on Tuesday, an unusual session in which diplomats from Britain, Germany and France were aligned with counterparts from Russia and China.
A second meeting is planned next week with more senators.
The diplomats have been in regular contact with members of the House in advance of a September vote on the nuclear agreement with Iran. The GOP-led Congress is expected to reject the deal reached last month in Vienna. But President Obama has vowed to veto any attempt by Congress to block the deal, and the White House has been working to get enough Democratic support to prevent a veto override. Republicans are expected to vote as a bloc against it, so the diplomats are focusing their outreach on Democrats.