In Wilton: Murphy, Himes express support for Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th) joined the Wilton Kiwanis Club on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at its regular Wednesday lunch at the Tompkins pavilion in Kiwanis Park on Danbury Road.
They did more than eat; each gave a speech about the current state of national foreign affairs and fielded questions from those in attendance.
One of the main points addressed by both Murphy and Himes was the Iran nuclear deal, on which Congress will vote in September.

Himes said he supports the deal because the Iranian nuclear program is gaining speed in disregard of U.S.-imposed sanctions.
“This agreement offers us something that we have never had before, which is the possibility of a 15-year period in which we don’t have to worry about being surprised by an Iranian nuclear test,” he said.

Murphy agreed with Himes, adding that, by pulling the deal off the table, if Congress does vote against it in September, the U.S. will have effectively destroyed any chance it had of negotiating with Iran in the future.
“There is this fantasy notion out there,” he said, “that if the United States Congress rejects the deal, that we’ll be able to come back to the table and negotiate a better deal. That is just simply not possible ... Even if you suppose that we can keep in place some of the sanctions, there’s no one that disputes that the sanctions will largely fray.
“And so,” Murphy continued, “if you imagine a world six months from now, a year from now, two years from now, in which the sanctions are clearly weaker, and Iran’s nuclear program is more advanced than it is today, how are we, then, in a stronger position than we are today, to get a better deal? Maybe you could bring them to the table, but our leverage will be clearly weaker than it is at this moment now.”
More on this story tomorrow.