Boxer announces support for Iran deal

Boxer announces support for Iran deal
© Francis Rivera

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTrucking riders ‘in the mix’ for short-term spending bill Lawmakers praise defense bill's National Guard bonus fix Schumer’s elevation to leader spells trouble for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday her support for the Iran nuclear deal, adding another voice to those speaking out in favor of the deal in recent days under a heavy White House lobbying effort for support.  

Boxer said she made her decision after meeting with senior diplomats from some of the U.S.'s closest allies, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany. 

"Today, after meeting with some of our strongest allies, I am more convinced than ever that a rejection of the Iran nuclear agreement would be a victory for Iranian hardliners and would accelerate their ability to obtain a nuclear weapon," she said in a statement. 

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Boxer, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Iran "now has enough nuclear material to build ten bombs."

"In my view, this agreement is the only way to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is used exclusively for civilian purposes, which is in the best interest of the United States, Israel and the world," she said. 

She also argued that the consequences of walking away would be too great — that Iran would have no constraints on its nuclear program and that the international sanctions regime would collapse. 

"The strong support from the international community — including the announcement this week by the Gulf states — underscores how this deal is the only viable alternative to war with Iran," she said. 

Boxer added that she understood and shared Israel's mistrust of Iran, but argued that the agreement is "not based on trust, but on an unprecedented inspections and verification regime." 

"A deal by definition is never perfect, but as Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, said recently, 'When it comes to Iran's nuclear capability, this is the best option,'" she said. 

Boxer's decision, though not unexpected, adds an additional Democratic voice of support for the deal. 

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), another member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has also come out in support of the deal. 

The White House needs to retain the support of at least 34 Senate Democrats, if Republicans succeed in passing a resolution of disapproval of the deal and the president wishes to uphold a veto of the resolution.