New Hampshire senator backs Iran deal

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) backed the Iran nuclear agreement on Thursday, becoming the latest Democrat to back the deal as the Senate starts a five-week recess.
“I’ve concluded that this is the best available option we have for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. When this agreement comes to the Senate floor in September, I intend to support it,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Rejecting this agreement would leave us with no credible non-military options for stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
{mosads}Shaheen is the fourth Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee to back the agreement this week. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) also announced their support in the final legislative days before the August recess. 
Her endorsement comes after members of the committee met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano and, separately, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Wednesday. 
The New Hampshire Democrat stressed that backing the deal doesn’t mean lawmakers should overlook other areas of concern, saying that the agreement “is not about becoming friends with Iran.” 
“In particular, our commitment to the defense of Israel remains unshakeable. And we must maintain vigorous sanctions against Iran for its support for terrorism and violations of human rights,” she added. 
She cited the restrictions on Iran’s enriched uranium, the reduction in centrifuges and the level of inspections in the agreement as reasons that she has decided to support the deal. 
Shaheen’s decision quickly attracted pushback from Republicans in her home state, who sought to link it to Gov. Maggie Hassan. Democrats are hoping the governor will challenge Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) in the 2016 election.

New Hampshire Republican Chairman Jennifer Horn said that Shaheen “has decided to blindly support President Obama’s disastrous foreign policy agenda.”

“As a likely candidate for the United States Senate, Governor Maggie Hassan has a responsibility to speak out against the Obama administration’s reckless Iran agenda,” Horn said. “Granite Staters have a right to know if likely Senate candidate Hassan is willing to march in lock step with President Obama.”
Undecided Democrats are expected to be inundated this month with calls and ads from both supporters and opponents of the Iran deal. 
While Republicans have largely lined up against the nuclear agreement, they’ll need to find at least 13 Senate Democrats to buck Obama if they want to override a promised veto. 
Despite the flurry of support from Senate Democrats this week, many lawmakers are still undecided
– This story was updated at 4:26 p.m.
Tags Barbara Boxer Chris Murphy Ernest Moniz Jeanne Shaheen Kelly Ayotte Tim Kaine

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