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Patty Murray Joins in Supporting the Iran Deal

Murray has become the 29th Democratic Conference member to back the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Murray has become the 29th Democratic Conference member to back the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The one member of the Senate Democratic leadership who had yet to announce a position on the Iran deal is supporting it.  

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Tuesday in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call ahead of release that she would be joining with Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois in lining up in favor of the international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear development.  

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is the lone Democratic leader on the other side.  

Murray’s support brings to 29 the number of Democratic Conference members backing the deal, a handful short of the votes needed to sustain a veto by President Barack Obama. No Senate Republicans are expected to support the agreement.  

“Going into this decision, I had clear principles guiding my thinking. First and foremost, Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, and my decision would be based on what course of action moves us closer to that primary goal. Second, Iran cannot be trusted, and no deal should hinge on them holding up their end of the bargain based on their word or good faith alone,” said Murray. “Third, a strong diplomatic solution is the best option. And fourth, the United States needs to keep all options on the table, including military options, if Iran decides to move toward a nuclear weapon or threatens us or our allies in any other way.”  

Like Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who announced her support on Monday, Murray is among those with the view that the agreement is better than any realistic alternatives.  

“Overall, the verification and inspections tools we will have are very strong and transparent. Although I have some concerns with Iran’s ability to delay inspectors from reaching undeclared sites, we and the IAEA have some of the best scientists in the world working on this problem with incredibly advanced tools. Perhaps most important, inspectors will have full access to the entire lifecycle of uranium in Iran, from the mines, to the centrifuges, to disposal of waste,” the Washington Democrat said. “There will also be a dedicated procurement channel, so we will know what Iran is buying, and we can prevent them from purchasing technology or materials that can be used for a bomb. Iran could try to cheat, but it would be very difficult, and even more difficult to do it without raising suspicions that the United States and our partners could act quickly on.”  

Murray said she looks forward to making sure that the agreement was enforced, pointing to her support for the security of Israel.  

“I have been a strong supporter of sanctions on Iran, military and economic support for Israel, and standing with our ally hand-in-hand toward our shared goals of peace, security, and prosperity in the region,” Murray said. “There are strong supporters of Israel on both sides of this issue, and I deeply value the thoughts and guidance I received from those who share my view that the United States has a strong interest in protecting Israel and making sure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. And I am looking forward to working with supporters of Israel to make sure that this deal is implemented and enforced in a way that works for our strong friend and ally.”  

Murray’s announcement of support follows two days after Reid, who made his position public on Sunday. Reid told reporters Monday at his National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas that filibustering legislation disapproving of the Iran deal would be a “longshot,” but he was upbeat about the prospects of sustaining a presidential veto.  

Murray’s support for the international agreement brings Reid one step closer to that goal.

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