Markey to support Iran deal
© Greg Nash
 
“We must never allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons state. After a thorough review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, I have concluded that diplomacy remains our best tool to secure a nuclear weapon-free Iran," Markey, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. "That’s why I intend to support the Iran nuclear agreement when it comes before Congress in September." 
 
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The Massachusetts Democrat added that while the plan "is far from perfect and carries risks … if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective."
 
Markey pointed to limitations placed on Iran's nuclear program and the level of inspections under the deal as reasons to support the agreement. 
 
Like other Democrats in favor of the agreement, Markey touted his support for Israel, whose government is against the deal, adding that going forward, it will be "essential to increase our commitment of support to Israel to unprecedented levels." 
 
Markey is the second senator Wednesday to say he will support the deal during a vote Congress is expected to take next month. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), one of the Senate's most conservative Democrats, announced his support earlier in the day. 
 
With his announcement, Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are the two remaining Democrats out of nine on the Foreign Relations Committee who haven't announced how they'll vote on the Iran deal.   
 
Markey's decision comes in the wake of an Associated Press report that a deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will allow the country to use its own experts to investigate any past nuclear weapons work at its Parchin military facility. 
 
That is likely to compound congressional criticism of such "side deals" between the IAEA and Iran, which have been a focal point for Republican opposition and Democratic skepticism of the agreement.