April 6, 2015 | Quote

With Iran Deal in Hand, White House Makes Sales Pitch to Preserve It

“It’s going to be the world’s best-funded, most relentless sales job that we’ve ever seen,” said Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a fierce opponent of an Iran deal. “If there’s one thing this White House can do, they know how to run a political campaign, and they are going to need it here.”

One potential compromise being discussed is to have a nonbinding vote by Congress that would register disappointment or even opposition over the deal but would not block it, said Jon B. Alterman, the director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“What happens if the world agrees and Congress doesn’t?” Mr. Alterman said. “Suddenly, the United States becomes quite isolated and Iran ceases to be isolated. The argument is, ‘Do you really want to be the ones to let Iran off the hook?’ ”

But that message, which Mr. Obama delivered in the Rose Garden on Thursday, could backfire, critics warned.

“They’ve continued to repeat the president’s binary choice of, ‘It’s between this deal and war,’ but they need to be cautious because that has already alienated and infuriated many of their natural allies,” Mr. Dubowitz said. “You’ve got to engage your skeptics rather than maligning them as warmongers.”

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