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150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal

150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal
© ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

At least 150 House Democrats have signed a letter expressing support for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Tom Hanks: After years of 'troubling rancor,' Inauguration Day 'is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal' MORE’s push to reenter the Iran nuclear deal, a key number of lawmakers that could block congressional attempts to prevent the move.

The Democrats say Biden’s push to reenter the international agreement if Iran returns to compliance should be used as a starting point for further negotiations addressing Tehran's “other malign behavior.”

“We are united in our support for swiftly taking the necessary diplomatic steps to restore constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and return both Iran and the United States to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a starting point for further negotiations,” the lawmakers wrote. The letter was led by Reps. David PriceDavid Eugene Price150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal House panel approves measure requiring masks on public transport Overnight Energy: 350 facilities skip reporting water pollution | Panel votes to block Trump's 'secret science' rule | Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage MORE (D-N.C.); Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBarbara Lee dons Shirley Chisholm's pearls for Inauguration Day: 'Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice President Harris is' Watch Out: Progressives are eyeing the last slice of the budget House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis MORE (D-Calif.), Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyFreshman GOP lawmaker apologizes for Hitler quote Newly sworn-in Republican lawmaker condemned by Holocaust Museum after Hitler quote 150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal MORE (D-Ill.), Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksBiden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE (D-N.Y.), Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroSunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Lawmaker to unveil bill ensuring nothing — 'no airport, no highway, no school' — is named after Trump MORE (D-Texas), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis Spanberger'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE (D-Va.) and Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanBottom line 150 House Democrats support Biden push to reenter Iran nuclear deal Democrats elect Meeks as first Black Foreign Affairs chairman MORE (D-Calif.).

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President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE withdrew from the Obama-era deal in 2018 and instituted a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions that Democrats say have failed to constrain Iran’s nuclear program and contributed to increasing confrontations in the region.

The new letter puts the House Democrats in opposition with critics of Biden’s push to reenter the 2015 international agreement, including center-right and right-wing pro-Israel organizations, nearly all Republicans, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE, who said that “we shouldn’t go back to business as usual with Iran.” Opponents would need a two-thirds majority in Congress to override a Biden veto of any legislation aimed at blocking reentry to the Iran deal, a percentage that may be unattainable with so many House Democrats supporting the move.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two Gulf Arab countries that have recently opened diplomatic ties with Israel, have also said they expect to be included in any negotiations for future talks with Iran.

The conflict over reentering the deal comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran following the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, widely believed to have been carried out by Israel, and the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-ordered drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Trump on Wednesday said Iran was responsible for a large-scale rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place on Sunday. The attack, which killed an Iraqi civilian and damaged the embassy compound, was called the largest strike on the facility in a decade.

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“Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq,” Trump tweeted.

“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” he added.

— Updated at 10:51 a.m.