WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared on Sunday that he will support President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, ending speculation that he was waffling on the agreement.
“This is the best way, the only way, to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Reid told The Washington Post.
Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston also reported Sunday that Reid was planning to back the deal.
For weeks, Reid’s position on the deal remained a mystery. However, Reid told the Post that he had privately supported the deal for weeks but wanted to confer with advisers and supporters in Nevada before publicly announcing his stance.
Prominent GOP donor and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has actively campaigned against the deal, and some speculated that he would try to lobby Reid to oppose the agreement. Reid said that he had spoken to Adelson but declined to discuss the specifics of their conversation.
Obama needs seven more Democratic senators to support the deal and ensure its passage. Reid’s office confirmed to The Huffington Post that he will actively put his weight behind the deal and work to drum up the necessary votes. Just this weekend, he hosted two undecided Democrats, Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Patty Murray (Wash.), at a fundraiser.
Sam Stein contributed reporting.