President Obama is hoping to calm concerns among Democrats still undecided or against the Iran nuclear deal. In an Aug. 19 letter to New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler written in the midst of Obama's vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the president maintains the deal itself cannot be changed, but he notes the US doesn't have its hands tied should Iran try to procure a nuclear weapon. "All of the options available to the United States—including the military option—will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond," he writes, per the New York Times. He also pledges "to enhance the already intensive joint efforts" of the US and Israel to fight Iran's support of Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its "destabilizing role in Yemen." He notes this is a "very good deal" for the US and for Israel, per the Guardian, adding, "No administration has done more for Israel's security than mine."
Nadler previously raised concerns about "our ability to permanently stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb," what the deal would mean for the US-Israel relationship, and "Iran's continued destabilizing influence through support of terrorism and other actions that threaten" Israel and the Middle East. With this letter, however, "I am gratified that the president's response satisfies a number of these concerns," Nadler says. As for why the letter was addressed to Nadler, the Times explains that 14 House and Senate Democrats publicly oppose the deal, and all but five are from New York and New Jersey. As the Times puts it, "Addressing Mr. Nadler could stanch that bleeding." To wit, sources tell the paper he'll come out in favor of the deal today. He would become the only Jewish member of Congress from New York to do so. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)