The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group, on Wednesday called on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear agreement.

AIPAC has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, but during the Obama administration, due to the strained relationship between the U.S. and Israel, it has had difficulty maintaining the traditional bipartisan consensus on support for Israel. The Iran debate will be the biggest test yet of its lobbying muscle under Obama.

"Unfortunately, this proposed agreement fails to halt Iran's nuclear quest," the group said in a statement. "Instead, it would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror."

AIPAC said it had outlined five criteria for a good deal, and "in each of these areas, the proposed agreement has significant flaws."

AIPAC noted that the deal does not allow inspectors to examine Iranian nuclear sites "anytime, anywhere"; does not condition sanctions toward verifying Iran meet demands on the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program; it starts to lift sanctions immediately; it lifts restrictions in eight years; and doesn't dismantle any nuclear centrifuges.

"This accord threatens the future of the nuclear non-proliferation regime," the statement read. "By leaving Iran on the threshold of a nuclear weapon — despite its history of violating international obligations — other countries in the region will have a dangerous incentive to initiate their own nuclear programs. The resulting nuclear arms race would severely destabilize the region."

It continued, "We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon. Congress should insist on a better deal."