The Obama administration has moved toward putting into place the Iran nuclear deal, after the Republican-controlled Senate failed three times to muster the votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster that would have allowed lawmakers to vote down the agreement.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday appointed Stephen Mull, a 33-year State Department employee and former ambassador to Poland, as the "lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation."
Mull would oversee a deal that Kerry said would "make the United States, our friends and allies in the Middle East, and the entire world safer." The secretary called Mull's role in implementing the deal "crucial."
"I have always said that, as important as it was to negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, implementing it was going to be even more crucial in meeting our national security objectives," Kerry said. "It is vitally important that we now have the right team with the right leader in place to ensure the successful implementation" of the agreement.
The 60-day congressional review period expired Thursday, as Republicans failed for a third time to end the filibuster by Democrats.
The period began immediately after President Barack Obama announced the deal on July 14. The accord, with the United States and five other nations, would provide as much as $150 billion to Tehran that has been held up through crippling sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear weapons.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Newsmax on Friday that "the Iran issue is not going away."
The Kentucky Republican himself has said that the deal "likely will be revisited by the next commander-in-chief."
House Speaker John Boehner has said that he was considering legal action to block the deal, while other lawmakers also have considered legislation to reinstate sanctions or take other steps against Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also slammed the deal,
telling Congress in March that it was a "countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare" by a country that "will always be an enemy of America."
Under the agreement, the compliance date for all parties is Oct. 18, when Obama would start issuing waivers on some of the sanctions. This would not occur, however, unless the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies Tehran's full compliance.
The European Union also would undertake a similar process for its actions, such as ending a ban on imports of Iranian oil.
Obama also would instruct the State Department, the Treasury Department and other U.S. agencies to lay the groundwork for relieving sanctions on Iran.
Iranian compliance would also end U.N. penalties, though some will remain. These include an arms embargo that lasts up to 5 years, a ballistic missile technology ban for up to 8 years, and a ban on transferring any unauthorized nuclear goods, which stays in place for a decade.
But senior U.S. officials said that they still expected Iran to need until about 2020 to take its economy to a level where it would have been, had there not been sanctions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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