Durbin defends Iran deal
© Greg Nash
 
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Sweeping election reform bill faces Senate buzz saw Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block MORE (D-Ill.) on Tuesday became the only member of the Senate Democratic leadership to publicly back President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. 
 
"I took last week to read the 100 plus pages of this agreement and to talk further to our nation's top experts," the Senate's No. 2 Democrat said. "The agreement before us is a comprehensive solution." 
 
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Durbin pointed to the inspection regime under the agreement, as well as an increased "break-out time" — the amount of time it would take Iran to make a nuclear weapon — as part of the reason he is supporting the final deal. 
 
He also suggested lawmakers face a decision between war and diplomacy when it comes to Iran. 
 
"We know the cost of war. We know it in human lives. We know it in the casualties that return. We know it in the cost to the American people," he said. 
 
"Given a choice between the invasion of Iran or working in a diplomatic fashion toward a negotiation so that we can lessen this threat to the world, I think President Obama made the right choice."
 
Durbin's remarks are hardly a surprise. The Illinois Democrat suggested in a statement earlier this month he was leaning toward supporting the agreement. 
 
He also took a veiled shot at Republican lawmakers, some of whom lined up against the agreement before a deal was reached. 
 
"There are critics, we've heard a lot of them in the Senate," he added. "But there isn't a single critic that's stepped up with a better idea."