By Julian Pecquet - 11/18/13 01:53 PM EST
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress, is emerging as a leader in the push to get Congress to back off new sanctions on Iran.
Ellison will host a briefing with two prominent experts on Tuesday amid heavy lobbying by Israel and some pro-Israel groups to buck the administration's request to give diplomacy more time. Ellison was one of only 20 House members to vote against tough new restrictions on Iran's energy sector back in July.
The briefing will feature Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, and Trita Parsi, the Iranian-American president of the National Iranian American Council and a lead advocate of efforts to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
The briefing comes as Israel and some pro-Israel groups are ramping up pressure on the Senate to pass sanctions legislation similar to the House effort. President Obama will personally urge senators to hold back at a White House meeting on Tuesday, after repeatedly sending Kerry and Vice President Biden to make that case on Capitol Hill.
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