US Senator: No Viable Alternative to Iran Accord

US Senator: No Viable Alternative to Iran Accord US Senator: No Viable Alternative to Iran Accord

A US centrist Democratic senator said on Sunday he is leaning toward supporting the Iranian nuclear deal because the alternative would be war.

Joe Manchin is the latest Democrat to speak favorably of the agreement. Members of his party have started lining up to support the pact as the Obama administration works to sell it to lawmakers. Secretary of State John Kerry argued the case last week on Capitol Hill.

"I'm leaning very strongly toward that because of the options that I have," Manchin said on CBS' "Face the Nation," the AP reported.  

''The only other option is go to war, and I'm not ready to send our people into harm's way again."

Manchin said he has spoken to leaders in four of the five countries that negotiated the Iran nuclear deal, and he said if the US Congress rejects it, the US will be on its own and faced with going to war against Iran.

"And they all believe that this is a pathway that they should be taking; it's one they support," he said. "If we pull out, we pull out by ourselves. So I'm looking at all of the information I have to make a decision by September."

Republican critics told Kerry last week they think the US failed to insist on enough restraints on Iran's nuclear program before agreeing to lift economic sanctions.

Congress has until September 17 to review the agreement, which lifts economic sanctions if Iran curbs its nuclear program's capacity for a specified duration. The deal will take effect unless Congress blocks it, which Republican leaders who control the House and Senate hope to do.

Obama has promised to veto any effort to block the deal from taking effect, and the administration is looking for enough votes to keep Republicans from overriding a veto. It takes a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of Congress to overturn a presidential veto.