White House launches digital push to sell Iran deal

White House launches digital push to sell Iran deal
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The White House launched a new Twitter handle and website on Tuesday exclusively to market its landmark nuclear accord with Iran, amid heightened scrutiny of the agreement and a concentrated lobbying push on Capitol Hill.

“We are rolling out some new online tools that we'll use to advocate for the recently announced agreement to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

The new Twitter account — @TheIranDeal — will offer “facts about the deal and fact-checks on misinformation and falsehoods,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz tweeted

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The account’s first tweet on Tuesday morning called the deal “historic” and claimed it “succeeds in verifying that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon.” 

The tweet linked to a new page on the White House’s website offering details about the agreement, infographics to explain its features and President Obama’s recent weekly address lauding its approach. 

It also attempts to rebut criticism.

One section, for instance, tackles opponents’ argument that the agreement does not allow international nuclear negotiations to have “anytime, anywhere” to Iran's nuclear sites. Critics claim that that oversight will allow Iran to continue developing nuclear capabilities in secret.  

“This deal ensures [International Atomic Energy Agency] access when needed, where needed to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program,” the site said. "'Anytime, anywhere' inspections are simply unnecessary thanks to the deal."

The Obama administration is making the new public push as it prepares a two-month lobbying blitz to sell the deal to a skeptical Congress.

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After breaking for their monthlong August recess, lawmakers are planning to take up a measure to try and block the deal. 

Republicans appear united in their willingness to vote the deal down and may be a lost cause for the administration. But officials appear to believe they can persuade Democrats to back the deal by using sustained outreach and increased public pressure to win over the American public.

Updated at 11:37 a.m.