According to The Hill's Whip List, so far 18 Senate Democrats and 35 House Democrats have voiced their support of the Iran nuclear deal; emerging amidst an administration-led lobbying blitz targeting support for the deal before the September decision vote on the accord.
Tim Kaine (D-V.A.) expressed his support in a speech from the Senate floor:
“I conclude that the JCPOA is a dramatic improvement over the status quo in improving global security. The agreement takes a nuclear weapons program that was on the verge of success and disables it for many years through peaceful diplomatic means with sufficient tools for the international community to verify whether Iran is meeting its commitments. In the negotiation, America has honored its best traditions and shown that patient diplomacy can achieve what isolation and hostility cannot. For this reason, I will support it.”
U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-I.L.) supported the deal with a statement released shortly after the deal was announced. “The agreement before us is a comprehensive solution to the nuclear weapons issue, and without a nuclear weapon to embolden Iran, the agreement allows the US and its allies to better deter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-C.A.), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released her statement of support:
“I understand and share Israel’s mistrust of Iran, and that is exactly why we need this agreement – which is not based on trust, but on an unprecedented inspection and verification regime. A deal by definition is never perfect, but as Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, said recently, ‘When it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this is the best option.’"
Sen. Boxer also jabbed at the television ads opposing the nuclear deal; “Thirty second ads may tell you all you need to know about a dishwasher or a tube of toothpaste, but this issue is so much bigger than a 30-second ad… No one can tell you in 30 seconds about the broad international support for this deal - now 92 nations and counting.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), echoed a number of Democrats who favor the deal in her statement; “Our goal has been, and remains, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We have far more ability to achieve that outcome if we approve this deal.”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-H.I.) said in his statement:
“This agreement should not be compared to an imaginary deal where Iran rolled over, and eliminated all its centrifuges and all peaceful nuclear energy generation. That was never seriously on the table. It should be compared to its real world alternative—an unraveling of the international sanctions, Iran moving ever faster towards the bomb, and our country left with few choices other than another war in the Middle East.”
Rep. Dan Kildee (Mich.), the Congressman pushing for the release of Amir Mirza Hekmati, his constituent who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2011, provided a statement of support:
“Since the agreement was announced, I have studied it in detail, attended classified briefings on key provisions, and met with the President, administration officials, independent experts, and people I represent. Through this process, I have judged the agreement on its merits while asking what other alternatives are available to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And the fact remains that there is simply no viable alternative to this agreement that stops Iran from getting this dangerous weapon.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, shared his support for the deal. "In the absence of a credible alternative, Congress should accept the deal and work with the Administration to strengthen its impact, while joining forces with our allies to better contain Iran's conventional capabilities and nefarious conduct in the region and beyond,"
Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the longest serving Jewish House member, detailed his support in his statement:
“I along with my brother and late sister when we were in our teens experienced with our parents great personal joy when President Truman announced U.S. recognition of Israel. It was something that we could take hold of amidst the unfolding horrors of the years before. Israel's security has and always will be of critical importance to me and our country. I believe that Israel, the region, and the world are far more secure if Iran does not move toward possession of a nuclear weapon. I believe the Agreement is the best way to achieve that.”
Levin concluded his statement with an important reflection, “In my view, the only anchors in public life are to dig deeply into the facts and consult broadly and then to say what you believe.”