Capuano offers conditional support of Iran deal

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Written by Antonio Caban

STATE HOUSE — Congressman Michael Capuano on Wednesday said that based on what he knows at the present time he would vote in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement.

“If the vote were today, and if nothing changes between now and the day we actually vote on it, or if I don’t find out new information, I’d vote yes,” the Somerville Democrat said on Boston Herald radio.

Congressman Michael Capuano

Congressman Michael Capuano

Capuano added that he continues to hear from all sides and hold meetings on the topic.

So far, both Massachusetts senators and five of the nine members of the state’s U.S. House delegation have endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. In addition to Capuano, Congressmen Richard Neal, Joseph Kennedy and William Keating are still undecided.

“This is not a perfect deal,” Capuano said after being questioned about reported “side deals” between Iran and nuclear inspectors. He said, “I’m not going to sit here today and tell you I one hundred percent understand or know everything about this deal. I know a lot and I’m comfortable with what I know and I’m still learning.”

Capuano said in the research he’s done so far he found initial reports describing side deals with Iran to be exaggerated, but said aspects of those reports have concerned him.

Questioned whether the deal is bad for Israel or puts that country in harm’s way, Capuano said while he disagrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criticisms, he believes that nation is “part of the equation.”

“Israel is an ally and a friend and a country we want to see, not just continue to exist, but also to prosper and maintain its democratic values. We all want that. If I thought that that would be seriously jeopardized I would vote no,” Capuano said. “At the moment I think not.”

Capuano acknowledged that while Israel will still be on the “front-lines” in that region regardless of the vote’s outcome, he believes a military strike against Iran is not an option.

Asked whether negotiators missed an opportunity to free Americans being held in Iran, Capuano said he can only consider the deal that was presented to him.

“I have a yes or a no vote. That’s all I have. And the question is am I better off, is the world better off when I vote yes or no even with all the problems that I see?” he said. He said, “I think we’re going to get them soon thereafter anyways – we’ll see.”

Copyright State House News Service