Rep. Sinema opposes withdrawing from the Iran nuke deal she voted against

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Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema was one of 25 Democrats to vote against the Iran nuclear deal two years ago.

Now, despite her initial opposition, Sinema says the Trump administration erred by withdrawing from the agreement last week.

"Removing ourselves from the agreement without a clearly defined strategy does not make our country safer," Sinema said in a statement released Wednesday. (Read her full statement at the bottom of this story.)

[RELATED: Sinema, McSally stockpile cash as Senate runs loom]

Sinema is running for the U.S. Senate and tops a list of Democratic candidates her party needs to win a traditionally Republican seat and retake the Upper Chamber.

Since winning a congressional seat in 2012, Sinema has crafted an image as an independent lawmaker who votes with Trump nearly 60 percent of the time, according to the website FiveThirtyEight.

[RELATED: Kyrsten Sinema announces she's running for Senate]

By opposing the Republican president's decision to exit the nuclear deal, Sinema finds herself on the same side as Democrat party leaders like Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi who have criticized the move by Trump.

Sinema's comments on the deal mark the first time she's spoken about the President's major foreign policy decision.

The remarks also come a day after the Republican National Committee slammed Sinema for her silence.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

“Typical. Kyrsten Sinema is trying to play both sides, all to win a few votes – and at the cost of the American people and our national security interests," an RNC said in a statement released Tuesday.

Full statement from Congresswoman Sinema

"My highest priority is the safety and security of Arizona families.

"I did not support the Iran deal when it was considered in Congress. Once it was signed, I advocated for actions that enhanced our national security: full, aggressive enforcement and reasonable improvements that strengthen the deal. Removing ourselves from the agreement without a clearly defined strategy does not make our country safer. 

"We must stay focused on what is most important. Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon, and we must oppose Iranian aggression that spreads instability and violence. I will continue to work across the aisle and with our allies to achieve these goals and to strengthen our country’s safety and security.

"Our shared commitment to counter Iranian aggression and to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran must not waiver."

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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