While the Obama administration faces skepticism from many Democrats about the Iran nuclear deal and outright opposition from Republicans, it's not alone in its fight to get the agreement passed, and is getting help from several groups that support the deal and even a small lobbying campaign.
J Street, an advocacy group that calls itself the "home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans," has raised $2 million to promote the deal, including a 30-second TV ad running during the Sunday morning political talk shows. The group is also taking out print ads, conducting policy briefings and telling its "180,000 supporters" to tell lawmakers to back the plan, according to the group's president, Jeremy Ben-Ami.
J Street "wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal," Ben-Ami stated in a letter on the group's website.
According to J Street's poll, 59 percent of American Jews support the plan to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
When the deal was struck July 14 in Vienna, oil companies were some of the first to pounce on the news that it could allow Iran to export more oil.
Without actually weighing in on the deal's merits, the Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, a coalition of 16 exploration and production companies including ConocoPhillips Co. and Marathon Oil Corp., used the Iran deal to push for lifting the U.S. ban on exporting oil.
"[W]e urge President Obama and Congress to use their authority and allow U.S. oil producers to access that same global market," stated George Baker, the group's executive director. "Once these sanctions are removed, the U.S. will be the only major oil producing country in the world that has restrictions on the export of domestically produced crude oil. The consequences of this voluntary, self-imposed restriction places American companies at a significant competitive disadvantage and threatens workers, government revenues, and the United States' relationship with our international trading partners," Baker continued.
Iranian officials claim they can boost oil production from 2.7 million barrels daily to 4 million once the restrictions are lifted. Furthermore, Iran has approximately 30 million barrels of oil stored in tankers, ready for sale, according to Foreign Policy magazine.
Many other companies are also eager to see the deal implemented in order to do business with Iran, which the International Monetary Fund said could see 2.2 percent economic growth this year. It reached 5 percent before the United Nations imposed punishing economic sanctions.
French automaker Renault supplies Iran with vehicle parts and a director of its Iranian agent, Amir Ali Amiri, founded a firm last year called ACL to promote international investment in Iran. He told Reuters that Iran has a potential annual market of 1.5 million cars, 20,000 trucks and 3,000-4,000 buses, which equals the entire Middle Eastern market, minus Egypt.
ACL also plans to raise funds to invest in the Tehran Stock Exchange, once it is legal for Westerners to do so.
Last summer, as part of the thawing with Iran after an interim agreement was reached, Boeing Co., became the first U.S. aerospace company to work with Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis when it filed a plan with regulators to sell airplane parts to state carrier Iran Air.
The National Iranian American Council, "a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people," has been one of the deal's most vocal supporters.
Constituents flooding lawmakers' phone lines at pro-Israel groups urging them to vote against the deal "are a small minority compared to the overwhelming number of Americans who support the deal, but they are more organized, better funded, and ideologically rigid–a powerful combination in American politics that cannot be discounted," wrote NIAC's Reza Marashi, who attended most rounds of talks hashing out the deal.
The group has been accused of being a front for the Iranian government, a lie spread by "opponents of our work supporting diplomacy with Iran to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue and other issues of concern," NIAC says on its website. It counts former career diplomat and one-time ambassador to Israel, Thomas Pickering, and former Reps. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md., and Jim Moody, D-Wis., as members of its advisory board.
Another pro-deal group, the Iran Project, spearheaded a letter signed by more than 100 former ambassadors, including five former top diplomats to Israel, to President Obama applauding the deal as a "landmark agreement."
The New York-based Iran Project "seeks to improve official contacts between the United States and Iranian governments." The United Nations Association of the USA and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund founded it in 2002. Its director is William Luers, a former career foreign service officer and ambassador to the former Czechoslovakia and Venezuela.
USA Engage, part of the National Foreign Trade Council, opposes unilateral economic sanctions and is a big booster of the deal. The group is "a broad-based coalition of manufacturing, agricultural and services producers," that promotes commercial engagement in foreign policy.
The organization "supported the negotiations because we support engagement as the best solution to complex international problems and the one which will most likely take business interests into account," it said in a statement issued after the final deal was announced.
The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank led by former Obama and Clinton administration official Neera Tanden, and the National Jewish Democratic Council, among other Democratic and Democratic-leaning groups, have also endorsed the deal.
The National Jewish Democratic Council "has found that the deal accomplishes the core goals of negotiations and will ultimately lead to a safer and more secure region," the group said in a statement.
For its part, the White House doesn't have a list of allies in urging Congress to approve the deal, or at least, it doesn't have one that it's willing to distribute. But the White House has started an official Twitter account to promote it: @TheIranDeal.
It launched Tuesday with a tweet that said, "The historic #IranDeal succeeds in verifying that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon. Follow to get the facts: http://go.wh.gov/IranDealFacts." The new Twitter account now has more than 13,000 followers.