Despite White House lobbying, Republican Jeff Flake will oppose Iran nuclear deal

The agreement that Iran reached with the United States and other world powers on July 14 “does contain benefits in terms of limiting Iran’s ability to produce sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon for a period of time, particularly at its known nuclear facilities,” Flake said in a statement.

“But these benefits are outweighed by severe limitations the (agreement) places on Congress and future administrations in responding to Iran’s non-nuclear behavior in the region,” Flake added.

The White House had held out some hope that Flake, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, would buck his party and possibly bring some other Republicans with him in support of the agreement.

Flake was the only Republican lawmaker who traveled with President Barack Obama to Africa in July. White House officials lobbied him during that trip to support the deal. Flake had backed Obama’s moves on another important foreign policy initiative, establishing warmer relations with Cuba.