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Democratic senator backs Iran nuclear accord

26 August 2015 10:36



Another Senate Democrat has voiced support for a nuclear deal with Iran, putting the administration of US President Barack Obama five votes away from approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the Congress.

“I support this deal because I believe it puts us in a better and stronger position,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday.

She is the 29th Senate Democrat to publicly announce support for the agreement, reached between Tehran and the P5+1 – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany in Vienna on July 14.

“I have heard directly from top ambassadors representing our P5+1 partners as well as members of the Administration that starting over is not an option,” Murray said. “Additionally, Iran would be spending the time it took to renegotiate a new deal to continue expanding their nuclear program.”

Murray, who was the highest ranking Democrat to be still undecided, called the agreement “not a perfect” one but Washington’s “best chance” in dealing with the matter.

“This deal gives us more tools to respond — not less, and it keeps the international community behind us in that effort,” she said.

Tehran has time and again stressed that it pursues nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

A picture taken on November 23, 2014 shows US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posing for a photo prior to a bilateral meeting of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran at the Palais Coburg in Vienna. (AFP)

Obama needs the Democratic senators’ support so that his veto power is not overridden after a possible rejection of the accord by the Republican-weighted Congress.

The Congress has until September 17 to review the agreement, under which restrictions will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

Only two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, have publicly opposed the accord so far.

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