Brad Sherman opposes Iran deal, 6th Jewish Democrat to do so

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., will oppose the Iran nuclear deal, the sixth Jewish Democrat in Congress to declare himself against the deal.

Sherman, a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, joins Reps. Eliot Engel, the committee’s senior Democrat, Ted Deutch, the senior Democrat on its Middle East subcommittee, Nita Lowey, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who until last year chaired the House Democrats reelection campaign, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, in line for his party’s Senate leadership, in opposing the deal.

There are more Jewish Democrats among the 27 in Congress so far who back the deal – at least nine, chief among them Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., the chief deputy whip, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a long-serving member of the Senate.

Congress’ Jewish caucus generally takes the lead on Israel issues and its trends are closely watched by other lawmakers. Republicans mostly are against the sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions deal reached July 14 between Iran and six major powers, making Democrats the battleground in the fight over whether Congress kills the bill.

“My efforts have one purpose: Make it clear that future presidents and Congresses are not bound by this agreement—not legally, not morally, not diplomatically,” Sherman said in a statement.

“In future years, many would argue as long as Iran appears to be complying with the agreement, America cannot insist on modifications or extensions of nuclear restrictions,” he said. “A strong congressional vote against the Agreement is the best way to make it clear that the agreement is not binding on Congress, the American people or future administrations.”

Sherman otherwise praised President Barack Obama for his efforts to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.

“I appreciate the incredible efforts President Obama and his administration have made to address the threat of Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” he said. “This president has worked far harder, taken more diplomatic and political risks, and accomplished far more than the previous administration.”

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