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Kerry warns of consequences if Congress votes down Iran deal; U.S. confident it can monitor Iran

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of State John Kerry says if Congress rejects the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. won’t be able to prevent allies from doing business with Tehran.

Speaking to a New York crowd, Kerry tried to counter Republican claims that a better agreement can be reached.

That argument would entail the U.S. maintaining or increasing pressure on Iran by threatening foreign governments and businesses with penalties for doing business with Tehran.

Kerry says that idea is far-fetched.

“Are you kidding?” he asks.

He says European countries wouldn’t cooperate with U.S. sanctions, and would walk away from separate U.S.-led penalties against Russia.

He says the dollar would lose its status as the world’s reserve currency, and allies wouldn’t support U.S. military action against Iran if Congress was responsible for breaking the deal.

Meanwhile, Iran’s intelligence agencies have penetrated CIA front companies, executed Western agents and captured a sophisticated U.S. drone.

So why should anyone believe American intelligence officials when they express confidence that they can monitor Iran’s compliance with the just-completed nuclear agreement?

Intelligence officials say the deal requires Iran to provide an unprecedented volume of information about nearly every aspect of its existing nuclear program. That data will make checking up on Iran’s compliance with the deal easier, the officials say, because it will shrink Iran’s capacity to hide a covert weapons program.

Skeptics cite a long history of intelligence failures in the Middle East.