President Obama today began his campaign to convince Congress to back his Iran nuclear deal with a major speech in which he characterized the upcoming vote as one about war or peace. If the deal falls through, opponents can expect a likely outcome, he said at American University: “Another war in the Middle East.” Obama added that “I am not saying this to be provocative,” reports the Washington Post. “I am stating a fact ... the choice we have is some kind of war, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in three months, but soon.” In the speech, Obama also drew a parallel with the vote to authorize the Iraq war.
“Many of the same people who made the case for war with Iraq” oppose the Iran deal, he said. They need to “worry less about being labeled weak [and] worry more about getting it right," because that war "did more to strengthen Iran and more to isolate the United States than anything we have done in the decade since," reports Politico. The Iraq message seems to be aimed at Democrats who voted in favor of the war and now regret it, because Obama will need their votes to sustain any veto, reports USA Today. The speech kicks off "a campaign of private entreaties and public advocacy over the next several weeks" to win approval of the deal, notes the New York Times.