McConnell: Obama facing 'hard sell' in Congress on Iran deal

McConnell: Obama facing 'hard sell' in Congress on Iran deal
© Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that President Obama faces an uphill battle getting congressional approval of a potential Iranian nuclear deal.


McConnell’s remarks come after repeated negotiating delays over a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

“It’s going to be a very hard sell,” McConnell told host Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I know there will be a strong pull not to go against the president on something that is so important to him,” he added. “But it is a very hard sell.”

McConnell argued on Sunday that the details of a framework agreement are not enough of a safeguard against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

“We already know that it’s going to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state,” he said. “We know that.”

“It appears the administration’s approach to this is to enter in any agreement Iran will get into,” McConnell added.

The Kentucky lawmaker also charged that lifting economic sanctions on Iran as part of the deal is a poor strategy for ensuring good behavior.

“We could have ratcheted up the sanctions even further because that’s what brought to the table in the first place,” McConnell said. “That’s why they were hurting.”

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDeval Patrick's 2020 entry raises stakes in New Hamphire Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE is leading U.S. efforts at the bargaining table with Iran this weekend in Vienna. Negotiators from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are also working on a lasting accord with Tehran.

The Obama administration hopes Iran will slow or stop its nuclear arms research in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

Obama has long argued diplomacy is the best means for preventing an Iranian nuclear arsenal.

A provisional agreement is expected to be reached on Sunday, one day before a deadline on Monday.