Colin Powell: Iran pact a 'pretty good deal'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell came out in support of President Obama’s agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, calling it a “pretty good deal.”

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Powell, a retired general who led the State Department under GOP President George W. Bush, said he had vigorously studied the deal and listened to arguments from both supporters and opponents.

“My judgment after balancing those two sets of information is that it’s a pretty good deal,” Powell declared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The great concern from the opposition is that we’re leaving open a lane for Iran to create a nuclear weapon in 10 to 15 years,” he added. “The reality is that they have been on a super highway for the last 10 years to create a nuclear weapon … with no speed limit.”

Powell's position drew praise from Obama.

Powell represents a high-profile Republican endorsement for Obama’s nuclear agreement. The deal has no support from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who will vote to block it when lawmakers return to Washington later this week.

However, 34 Democratic senators are publicly backing the Iran agreement, giving the president enough votes to ensure the deal will overcome any GOP efforts to kill it.

--This report was updated at 1:12 p.m.