President Barack Obama. Image courtesy of the White House/Flickr.

The Obama administration has secured enough Senate votes to ensure the approval of the Iranian nuclear deal reached earlier this year.

According to Reuters, 32 Democrats and two independent have agreed to approve the deal, providing enough votes to support a presidential veto if the Republican-controlled Congress successfully passes a disapproval resolution.

Supporters of the deal are now hoping to secure the 41 votes it would take to block a disapproval resolution outright.

“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb,” Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski told Reuters.

Republicans have vowed to continue fighting the deal and said they would find other avenues to turn up the political heat on Iran even if the current deal is approved.

Some Republican state officials, including Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, have suggested that each state implement their own sanctions against Iran, Reuters said.

Iran agreed on July 14 to curb its nuclear development program in exchange for the lifting of some U.S. and EU sanctions.

Under the deal, Iran will be forced to remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and store them under international supervision, dispose of 98 percent of its enriched uranium and permanently grant the International Atomic Energy Agency any kind of access it needs to monitor nuclear development.

The conditions will also prohibit Iran from producing enough nuclear material to make a weapon for 10 years.

The agreement will not immediately lift oil sanctions despite previous threats from Iranian officials that the country would refuse a deal without immediate sanction relief.

Western sanctions have limited Iran’s crude exports to 1 million barrels per day since 2012 from a high of 2.5 million.

The country currently produces about 3.5 million barrels of crude per day, according to OPEC.

No official timeline for lifting the oil sanctions has been released yet.

President Obama has said he will veto any legislation that aims to block the deal.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said that lifting Iranian oil sanctions could drag crude prices down by as much as $15 per barrel in 2016.

The International Energy Agency said in August that Iran could add as many as 730,000 barrels per day of production in less than a year once oil export sanctions against the country are lifted.


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