NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran won an important endorsement Friday from Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who bucked opposition from fellow New York Jewish lawmakers including his home state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer.
Nadler's endorsement followed a personal appeal from Obama, who sent him a letter earlier this week defending the deal and pledging that the U.S. will continue to put economic pressure on Iran and keep military options open.
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler Voices Support For Iran Nuclear Deal
"I bring to my analysis the full weight of my responsibilities as a member of Congress, and my perspective as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel,'' Nadler said in a statement.
While Nadler calls the deal far from perfect, he said it will prevent the Iranians from developing or ever attempting to develop a nuclear bomb, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported. Nadler's detailed justification for his position argues the agreement shuts down plutonium and uranium pathways to a nuclear weapon.
LINK: Read The Full Statement
In his statement Nadler said, "there is no doubt that the Iranian regime remains a terrifying and remorseless danger to the world. Iran sponsors terrorism, threatens the destruction of Israel, backs regimes guilty of human rights abuses, and foments instability throughout the region. Unfortunately, the agreement does not provide answers to these problems, and so the United States and our allies will have to continue countering Iran's illicit activities on numerous fronts."
Nadler becomes the first Jewish Democratic lawmaker from New York to announce he'll support the deal that seeks to keep Iran from building a nuclear bomb in exchange for billions in international sanctions relief.
His announcement comes at the end of a week that's seen the deal pick up a steady stream of Democratic support in the House and Senate despite furious opposition from the Israeli government and Republicans who say it makes too many concessions to Iran and could actually enable that country to go nuclear.
Congress is facing a vote next month on a resolution disapproving of the deal, but Obama will veto such legislation if it prevails. Congressional Republicans would then need to muster two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate to overturn Obama's veto, a steep bar that even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans are unlikely to overcome.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi declared this week that House Democratic supporters have the votes necessary to sustain Obama's veto despite unanimous GOP opposition, and the growing list of Democratic endorsements seems to back her up. In the Senate, only two Democrats -- Schumer and Robert Menendez of New Jersey -- have announced opposition to the deal while 26 have announced their support.
"What the agreement does is to recommit Iran not to pursue a bomb, a promise they have already violated in the past," Menendez said.
Schumer said under the first 10 years of the agreement, Iran's nuclear ambitions might be contained, but he warns the deal is open-ended after that.
"That means the United States and all the governments in the world say it's OK for Iran to be a threshold nuclear state," Schumer said.
Some key lawmakers have not yet made their positions known, among them Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat.
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