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Sen. Carper weighs Iran nuclear deal

Delaware Public Media

The debate in Congress over the Iran nuclear deal announced earlier this week is just getting started – and Delaware’ senior senator says he taking his time to examine the details of the agreement.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) says he’s looking forward to briefings from Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz next week as he digests the deal.

Carper notes lawmakers were updated during the negotiations.  He adds he’s become less skeptical of the agreement the more he’s heard  and believes many of his colleagues are more likely to support President Obama on the deal now as well.

If you’d had this vote, I don’t know, 12 months ago – if we’d had the agreement 12 months ago – I’m not sure a third of the House and a third of the Senate would have rallied behind him," Carper told Delaware Public Media. "I think what has happened has been an ongoing educational process that has enabled the rest of us in the House and Senate to understand what’s transpired, what’s gone on, in these talks, what were asking the Iranians to give up and subject themselves to.”

At a press conference Wednesday, President Obama challenged those already criticizing the deal to explain what the alternative is to keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Carper says that is a compelling argument.

“If we don’t have an agreement like this we’re probably going to end up in a war – and frankly that is good for any of us," said Carper.  "And before we take that step we’ve got to try very hard to come up with something that denies the ability of the Iranians to have this kind of nuclear weapon because if they do,  you can bet the Saudis will have one soon and then in the most dangerous part of the world we’ll have all kinds armed with nuclear weapons.”

Congress has two months to review the deal before voting on whether to support it or not.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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