National Security

Highest-ranking Jewish House Democrat opposes Iran deal

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The highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House announced his opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, in a blow to the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts.

“I’m going to vote against the Iran deal,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) — the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — told Newsday.

{mosads}”I tried very hard to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.”

In addition to Rep. Israel, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) also came out against the deal on Tuesday, saying that the multinational agreement did not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from cheating on its commitments or limit it from supporting extremist groups such as Hezbollah.

“After a decade in public life working to stop Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons, I cannot support a deal giving Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief — in return for letting it maintain an advanced nuclear program and the infrastructure of a threshold nuclear state,” Deutch wrote in the Broward County Sun Sentinel.

The announcements complicated the Obama administration’s push on Iran on Capitol Hill, which it has been vigorously pursuing for weeks.

Republicans are expected to unite against the deal, forcing the Obama administration to rely on Democrats to save it. Killing it, the White House has claimed, would effectively dismantle the system of global sanctions on Iran and toss out the chance of ever obtaining a diplomatic solution to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Tags Iran Nita Lowey Steve Israel Ted Deutch

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