U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, said Thursday she will support the Iran nuclear pact.
With the announcement, the New Haven congresswoman joined most of Connecticut’s delegation in backing the deal. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and 5th District Rep. Elizabeth Esty remained undecided as of Thursday afternoon.
A supporter of economic sanctions since they first were imposed on Iran in 2005, DeLauro said they were successful in the past given cooperation from the international community. “However,” she added, “sanctions alone will not stop Iran from moving toward development of a nuclear weapon.”
The United States and the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, struck a deal with Tehran on Iran’s nuclear program on July 14 in Vienna. On July 20 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution endorsing the deal.
DeLauro called the agreement “a historic, diplomatic accomplishment” that will disarm Iran’s nuclear weapons program and provide oversight.
“Throughout the negotiations, I have insisted that the final agreement contain the highest standards to hold Iran accountable, allow for rigorous international inspections, and ensure that Iran will not have access to nuclear weapons,” she said. “This agreement does that and is our best available alternative to military action.”
DeLauro dismissed critics who charge that the deal does not hold Iran accountable for its support of terrorism and for human rights violations.
Iran is “the leading sponsor of terrorism globally and has made clear its intent to continue to act as a disruptive force in the region,” she said. “That is precisely why a nuclear-armed Iran is absolutely unacceptable.”
DeLauro also rejected arguments that the U.S. should reject the deal in hopes of striking a better one.
“If we walk away from the negotiated deal, which has the full support of the international community,” she added, “we risk going it alone.”
Congress has passed legislation that would allow lawmakers to block U.S. implementation of the agreement. That vote will occur when Congress returns from its summer break in September.
Because nearly every Republican opposes the agreement, there are enough opponents of the Iran deal to pass a resolution of disapproval in the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. The fate of that resolution is unclear in the Senate, but President Obama is expected to veto the measure if it is approved by both chambers.