Nadler becomes first NY Jewish Dem to back Iran deal

Nadler becomes first NY Jewish Dem to back Iran deal

Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator MORE (D-N.Y.) announced on Friday he supports President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Nadler’s endorsement makes him the only Jewish New Yorker in Congress backing the controversial pact, a major coup for Obama.


“Although we know that Iran will remain a menace to the region and the world, even without nuclear weapons, a nuclear armed Iran would represent an unacceptable threat to the United States, to Israel and to global security,” he said in a statement.

“With respect to this objective, the interests of the United States and Israel are identical, even as there are different views on how to achieve it,” Nadler said.

The New York Times first reported that Nadler would back the nuclear deal. He represents New York’s 10th District, which holds the nation’s largest Jewish population by congressional district.

Obama has wrestled to muster Jewish support for the deal given that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a vocal critic of its details.

Many of New York’s other Democratic Congress members, including Sen. Charles Schumer and Reps. Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey and Steve Israel, have passed on backing the accord.

Obama personally addressed a letter to Nadler earlier this week explaining how his administration would counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions outside of the deal.

“Should Iran seek to dash toward a nuclear weapon, all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond,” Obama wrote to Nadler in the letter, obtained by the Times

Congress is expected to vote next month a motion disapproving the nuclear deal. Nadler's opposition makes it more unlikely Congress will be able to override an expected veto of the legislation. It's also not clear the disapproval motion will be approved in the Senate. 

Nadler argued that alternatives to the deal, which he said was flawed, were less desirable. 

“After carefully studying the agreement and the arguments and analyses from all sides, I have concluded that, of all the alternatives, approval of the JCPOA, for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Accordingly, I will support the agreement and vote against a Resolution of Disapproval.”

This story was updated at 11:19 a.m.