Secretary of State John Kerry pitched the administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran to a skeptical House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, pushing back against the allegation it would ease crippling sanctions forever in exchange for temporary concessions on weapons development. “Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed,” said Rep. Ed Royce, the panel’s chairman. With Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waiting to testify, he asked if Tehran “has earned the right to be trusted” given its history. Kerry said that under the deal, Iran is “permanently banned” from developing a nuclear weapon, and many of the restrictions imposed would be in place “not just for 15 or 20 years, but for the lifetime” of its nuclear program. As a result, he said, the United States will be able to “verifiably ensure” the nuclear program remains peaceful. Things got slightly tense when Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) pressed Kerry on whether or not he would follow the “law” if Congress decided to override a presidential veto to block the Iran deal. “Will you follow the law even though you think it violates this agreement clearly and even if you think it’s absolutely terrible policy?” Sherman asked. “I can’t begin to answer that at this point without consulting with the president and determining what the circumstances are,” Kerry responded. “So you’re not committed to following the law?” the Democrat said. “No, I said I’m not going to deal with a hypothetical, that’s all,” Kerry shot back.