Barack Obama is set to confirm a huge foreign policy victory soon.
The much-debated nuclear deal with Iran appears set to survive through Congress, after Senator Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Senate Democrat to announce her support of the deal.
Every Republican is likely to oppose the deal, and two Democrats have sided with the opponents, while ten more Democrats remain undecided.
However, with Senator Mikulski’s vote, even if the opponents picked up all the undecideds, the deal wouldn’t be sunk as it would fall short of the two-thirds majority that can override a promised veto from the President.
The deal will lift international sanctions on Iran and allow the country to start selling oil again on international markets. It will also be permitted to use the global financial system for trade and commerce, while an arms embargo will be ended over a longer timeline.
In return Iran will reduce its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which can be processed into bomb-grade fuel, by 96 per cent to 300kg.
It will also allow the International Atomic Energy Agency access to all its sites and will not build any new enrichment facilities for 15 years.
Senator Mikulski said in a statement:
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.
For these reasons, I will vote in favour of this deal. However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.
Opponents of the deal voiced disapproval in reaction to the news, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said:
The fact that the administration has sought to reduce this important national security matter to a partisan contest raises even more serious questions about its durability and merits.