Iran nuclear deal
On Thursday, three more Senate Democrats backed the Iran nuclear deal, giving President Obama 37 votes, enough to ensure that a bill to sink the accord won't survive his veto and just four votes shy of keeping the bill from even getting to his desk. But also on Thursday, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran's legislature will also get a binding vote on the deal, giving supporters of the accord a new round of parliamentary politics to worry about.
"Parliament should not be sidelined on the nuclear deal issue," Khamenei said in a nationally broadcast speech. "I don't have any advice to the parliament about how to examine it, approval or disapproval.... I have told the president that it is not in our interest to not let our lawmakers review the deal." The ayatollah has not publicly endorsed or rejected the deal. The speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, does support the accord, but later on Thursday he reiterated Khamenei's decision, adding, "There will be heated discussions and debates." President Hassan Rouhani and his team of nuclear negotiators had hoped to avoid a vote in parliament.
Nobody is sure how Iranian lawmakers will vote, but the influential 15-member committee that examined the deal expressed strong reservations, The Wall Street Journal reports. Either way, Khamenei will have the final say, and some analysts suggest he is letting parliament weigh in as a way to keep his options open.