Kerry to Congress: Sign the Iran Deal or the Dollar Gets Hit
Policy + Politics

Kerry to Congress: Sign the Iran Deal or the Dollar Gets Hit


Despite losing the support of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the White House is pushing ahead on the Iran nuclear deal.

In an interview with NPR, President Obama predicted the white-hot attitudes that surround the nuclear agreement today would cool once it’s been given time to work.

"When this agreement is implemented and ... we've got inspectors on the ground and it becomes clear that Iran in fact is abiding by this agreement, then attitudes will change, because people will recognize that, in fact, whatever parade of horribles was presented in opposition have not come true," he said.

Related: Schumer’s Iran Deal ‘No’ Vote Could Cost Him with Senate Dems

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry went on the attack at an event in New York City, suggesting that if the United States torpedoes the agreement and then demands other Western powers comply with economic sanctions against Iran, the dollar could soon lose its status as the world’s reserve currency.

"If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, you're going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway, that is a recipe, very quickly .... for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world," he said.

Critics were quick to throw water on that argument, saying it was an exaggeration on Kerry’s part and likely driven by the intense politics surrounding the Iran deal. CNN factcheck called the Obama/Kerry dollar risk an outright exaggeration.

Kerry played up the potential benefits of the agreement, arguing that if it goes into place, the U.S. will be in a much better position to press Iran on its destabilizing behavior and support for terror groups in the region, though “we’ll do so with our eyes wide open.”

The nation’s top diplomat also held out an olive branch to opponents, walking back comments Obama made last week compared GOP opponents of the deal with Iranian hardliners who chant “Death to America!”

"I'm not accusing anyone of willfully choosing that or being a warmonger, or suggesting that they want that, even though you've heard some pretty flashy language in some hearings about who wins war and what happens," he said. "But what I am saying is people really owe it to everybody to evaluate fully what happens if Congress were to override a veto and say no.”

While the administration engages in a fresh push for support, the politics surrounding the nuclear accord remain fluid.

On Monday, Democratic Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Amy Klobuchar (MI) announced their support for the deal, bringing the grand total of Senate backers to 18, just over halfway to the 34 Obama needs to sustain a veto.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who the president considers as possible supporter of the agreement, predicted Obama would ultimately come out on top.

"I still believe that the president will have enough votes to sustain a veto," Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told The Arizona Republic in an interview published over the weekend.

On Tuesday, three Democratic House members from California – Lois Capps, Mark Takano and Doris Matsui -- announced they would vote for the Iran deal.