Tsongas becomes latest Mass. Democrat to back Iran deal
By State House News Service | August 13, 2015, 7:22 EDT
Written by Matt Murphy
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas on Wednesday became the latest member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to throw her support behind the international nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “our best chance to halt Iran on its path to building a nuclear weapon.”
With Congress set to vote next month on the deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and world partners to subject Iran to nuclear inspections in exchange for lifting sanctions on the country, the White House has been aggressively courting Democrats in order to sustain a veto if Congress rejects the deal. Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat and senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, acknowledged the concerns many have with the deal by calling it “not perfect,” but said rejecting the deal would leave the United States with “no leverage and weakened alliances and credibility.”
“Iran’s past behavior means this agreement must not be built on trust, but on terms that are clearly defined, verifiable and enforceable. The JCPOA provides a comprehensive verification process that ensures the international community has rigorous and unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear activities and infrastructure — more comprehensive and intrusive than any inspection authority ever previously negotiated — with real teeth to enforce the agreed upon measures if Iran fails to comply. Nor does this agreement take any option off the table — including a military option — for President Obama or any future president,” she said in a statement.
Tsongas joins U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton, Steve Lynch and Jim McGovern in supporting the deal. Others in the Massachusetts delegations have not yet made up their minds, though U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano has signaled he is leaning in favor.
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