Washington: The international unity against Iran would be "completely gutted" if the US withdraws from the Iranian nuclear deal, the White House has said, warning that nations like India and China will not maintain sanctions against Iran if the Congress fails to give its approval.
"International unity would be completely gutted if another President were to take office after a year and a half and, despite Iran's compliance with the agreement, were to unilaterally withdraw from that agreement," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday.
Earnest's remarks came in the wake of several Republican presidential candidates' statements that if elected they would withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.
Several top American lawmakers supporting the deal have argued that countries like India, Japan, South Korea and China would no longer be part of any US-led international effort of sanctions against Iran if the Iranian nuclear deal fails to pass through the Congress.
"It is unclear exactly what that would accomplish - is the suggestion that they would withdraw the US from the agreement and somehow impose additional sanctions unilaterally on Iran," he said.
"The reason that would be foolish is that the reason that our sanctions regime was so successful in compelling Iran to come to the negotiating table is that it required not just action by the US, but by coordinated action all around the globe, not just among the members of the P5+1, but other significant economies that have close economic ties with Iran, like India and South Korea and Japan," he said.
Several US lawmakers have started making the same pitch in favour of the deal.
"Maintaining or increasing sanctions on Iran will only work if the sanctions coalition holds together. It is clear from a variety of sources that at least Russia, China and India are unlikely to maintain sanctions if Congress rejects the deal," said Congressman Seth Moulton from Massachusetts.
"When it comes to predicting the future, we are all looking through the glass darkly, but it is only prudent to expect that if Congress rejects a deal agreed to by the Administration and much of the world, the sanctions regime will - if not collapse -almost certainly erode," said Congressman Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Schiff said even if the US would manage to keep Europe on board with sanctions, it will be hard to imagine Russia, China, India and other nations - starved for oil or commerce - agreeing to cut off business with Iran.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama would take the podium one more time today to address people on the Iranian nuclear deal issue.
He is scheduled to make a major speech at the American University.