In win for Obama, New York Jewish Democrat says he backs Iran nuclear deal

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced on Friday that he would vote in Congress in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

August 21, 2015 17:45
2 minute read.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). (photo credit: REUTERS)

In a victory for the Obama administration, a prominent Jewish Democrat has declared his support for the Iran nuclear agreement.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced on Friday that he would vote in Congress in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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US President Barack Obama needs to muster enough support among his own party in order to prevent the legislature from gathering enough votes to override an executive veto. A Republican-controlled Congress is expected to reject the nuclear deal, though it will have a much more difficult time amassing the necessary two-thirds support needed to withstand a presidential veto.

"After carefully studying the agreement and the arguments and analyses from all sides, I have concluded that, of all the alternatives, approval of the JCPOA, for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon," Nadler wrote in a prepared statement posted on his web site. "Accordingly, I will support the agreement and vote against a Resolution of Disapproval."

The Manhattan representative said that his credentials "as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel" placed a greater responsibility on his shoulders in carefully weighing the agreement.

"I have sought to ignore the political pressures, as well as the demagoguery and hateful rhetoric on both sides that I think has been harmful to the overall political discourse," Nadler wrote.

Acknowledging what he said were "flaws" in the agreement, Nadler argued that the deal reached between the P5+1 powers and Tehran was the best available outcome.

"While I am concerned that many of the key elements expire in the 10–15 year timeframe, our debate must center on whether the deal is preferable to the available alternatives," he wrote. "The only decision that matters at this moment is whether to support or reject the agreement that is on the table now, not on whether we could or should have gotten a better deal. It has been my duty, therefore, to consider the consequences of supporting or rejecting the JCPOA, and having decided that, to continue to pursue ways to further guarantee the security of the United States and our allies."

Nadler seconded the Obama administration's argument that suggestions Iran would capitulate in the face of even tougher economic sanctions were unfounded since the sanctions were initially instituted in order to bring Tehran to the negotiating table.

"The lifting of the sanctions was always expected if we reached a deal," the Democrat wrote. "If we rule out the lifting of sanctions in exchange for any deal to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, there can be no conceivable incentive for Iran to agree to anything — no quid for the quo — and the only option left would be military action."

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