Obama defends comparing GOP to Iranian hard-liners

Obama defends comparing GOP to Iranian hard-liners
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President Obama is doubling down on his comparison of Republicans with Iranian hard-liners who oppose the Iran nuclear deal.

"What I said is absolutely true, factually," Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview that will air Sunday.

"The truth of the matter is, inside of Iran, the people most opposed to the deal are the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, hard-liners who are implacably opposed to any cooperation with the international community," Obama added.

The president inflamed his critics with his tough tone in a major speech on Wednesday, defending the Iran deal.

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Obama linked congressional Republicans opposed to the deal with Iranian hard-liners who chant “death to America,” saying they are “making a common cause with the Republican caucus.”

Lawmakers will vote in September on a resolution to approve or disapprove of the deal. With almost every Republican in Congress, Obama is making a hard sell to Democrats to uphold a veto of a measure killing the deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) dismissed Obama's claim that the only alternative to the deal is war as an "absurd argument."

"That's never been the alternative," he said. "It's either this deal or a better deal, or more sanctions, and I think that's been a huge mistake on his part."

Republicans' reluctance to consider the deal is the same stance taken by hard-liners in Iran, Obama told CNN.

"The reason that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the folks in his caucus who opposed this jumped out and opposed this before they even read it, before it was even posted, is reflective of a ideological commitment not to get a deal done," Obama said.

"In that sense they do have much more in common with the hard-liners who are much more satisfied with the status quo."