Markey backs Iran deal

Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, said he’s fought the spread of nuclear weapons throughout his career and has decided that diplomacy remains the best strategy to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he reached the conclusion after participating in hearings, classified briefings and meetings with administration officials, senior intelligence officers, former government officials and private sector experts, some of whom favor the deal and others who oppose it.

“This agreement is far from perfect and carries risks. But I believe our negotiators achieved as much as they reasonably could, and that if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective,” Markey said in a written statement.

Markey said he also supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He said the deal includes inspections intended to ensure Iran is blocked from developing nuclear weapons to threaten Israel.

“Iran has given us good reason to be skeptical of its intentions. It is a state sponsor of terrorism, a destabilizing force in the Middle East,” Markey added. “With nuclear weapons capabilities, Iran would present an existential threat to Israel.”

Markey holds the Senate seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry, who worked to hammer out the deal.

Congress will vote next month on a resolution to disapprove of the agreement. Republican opponents expect to prevail on that vote, but President Barack Obama has made clear he would veto their resolution. The Obama administration is relying on political strongholds of support like Massachusetts to help sustain a veto if needed.

Markey joins other members of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation in backing the deal, including the state’s senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, who came out early in support of the agreement, saying a negotiated solution is the best chance to hold Iran to no nuclear weapons,

“If others have an alternative path that they want to spell out, a military solution, they have to put it on the table,” Warren told reporters a week after the deal was announced.

Reps. Stephen Lynch, Niki Tsongas, Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton and Jim McGovern also support the deal.

Reps. Michael Capuano, William Keating, Joe Kennedy and Richard Neal are still weighing the agreement.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that House Democrats have the votes, if necessary, to sustain a presidential veto.

In Massachusetts, a majority of voters supported Obama in the past two presidential elections, including when he ran against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

By Gazette Net