WASHINGTON – President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran met with hostility from most Philadelphia-area Republicans and wariness from Democrats, demonstrating the skepticism he faces as he tries to prevent Congress from overriding the pact.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), one of Congress' leading sponsors of Iran sanctions and a close ally of Israel, said he was "concerned that the deal ultimately legitimizes Iran as a threshold-nuclear state."

"I'm concerned the redlines we drew have turned into green-lights," said Menendez, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "The bottom line is: The deal doesn't end Iran's nuclear program – it preserves it."

Republicans blasted Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism and warning that the deal could allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

"A flimsy deal will make it more likely for them to achieve that goal, not less likely," said Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), adding that Obama "has already made breathtaking concessions."

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), of Bucks County, said "there is little reason to believe this deal will halt Iran's nuclear program or that the Iranian regime is truly committed to joining the international community."

He and many other who objected worried about the impact on Israel.

"We must not turn our back on Israel and other allies in the region," said Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R., N.J.).

Congressional opposition could scuttle the deal. Lawmakers have 60 days to review the pact and can vote to kill it. But there would have to be enough opposition to override a veto from Obama – which means the president needs just one-third of either chamber to stand with him in order for the agreement to stand.

One of the few openly supportive statements came from Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), of Philadelphia.

"I have every confidence in the negotiators that this is a good deal—based on verification—and that once the details are fully understood and assessed, it will earn the support," of Congress, Fattah said.

Other typically loyal Obama allies were circumspect.

"Over the coming days, I will be conducting a thorough review of the agreement to evaluate whether it protects our national security interests," said Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.)

Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he "will only support it if this deal prevents every Iranian pathway to develop a nuclear weapons capability."

Former Delaware County Congressman Joe Sestak, a Democrat now running for Senate and retired Navy Admiral, hailed the deal, saying military strikes could stop Iran's nuclear program for four years, while this pact could hold off development for 15.

"Today's nuclear agreement with Iran is another cautious, crucial step toward peacefully and permanently stopping the Iranians from attaining nuclear weapons," Sestak said. "Diplomacy is protracted, difficult and complex – but it must always be the first option to try over war."

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