WASHINGTON — Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow announced her support on Monday of a controversial deal to lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country agreeing to scale back its nuclear program.
Stabenow is the latest Democrat to support the Obama administration proposal. In a statement issued Monday, Stabenow said despite concerns she has with the plan, she supports it as the best option to keep Iran from further developing nuclear weapons.
The agreement includes the United States, Germany, France, Russia, China and the United Kingdom.
“For me, the decision comes down to this: without this international agreement, Iran will have enough nuclear material for a weapon in three months. With this agreement, and the international coalition committed to it, we have the opportunity to stop Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon, certainly for at least 25 years,” Stabenow said in a statement.
Stabenow acknowledged the “deep fear and emotion” involved in the debate, adding the agreement isn’t based on trust with the Iranians but on strict inspections and verification.
Under the agreement, Iran must reduce their stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent. The country will also be required to reduce the number of centrifuges from more than 19,000 to 6,104. Iran will be subject to an “intrusive inspections regime under continuous monitoring,” Stabenow said.
“By agreeing to this deal, the international community will continue to be united against Iranian aggression. And if they violate the agreement and we need to use military force, the international community will be with us, rather than against us,” she said
So far, 28 senators have announced their backing of the Iran deal, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
Michigan’s other U.S. Senator Gary Peters has not announced his position on the proposal.