WATERVILLE — A small group of activists gathered on Tuesday in the Silver Street field office of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, to show their support for a nuclear deal with Iran proposed by President Barack Obama.

Larkin Domench, an organizer from MoveOn, a liberal political action committee, presented an online petition with 5,000 signatures in support of the deal to the office.

Domench, a junior at Colby College, said many of his peers support the deal, which lifts economic sanctions on the Islamist republic in exchange for limits on its nuclear program and international monitoring and inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The deal was brokered between Iran and a group that included the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany and the European Union. It was announced in July after a long series of negotiations.

“It really can shape the way the U.S. is perceived in the Middle East and on the global stage,” Domench said. Tuesday’s small rally was part of a national day of action organized by MoveOn in support of the deal, he said.

Obama is championing the agreement as the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Opponents, including almost all congressional Republicans, say the agreement doesn’t go far enough to stop Iran from developing a bomb.

The deal is subject to ratification by Congress, and the president is trying to get enough support from Senate Democrats to override a disapproval resolution from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. A vote on the deal is expected later this month.

Pingree announced in a news release last month that she intended to vote in support of the deal, saying that the alternatives to the deal, either continuing to “stay in the dark” about Iran’s nuclear plan or going down the road to “military action” were not acceptable. “This plan represents the best way forward,” Pingree said.

Pam Trinward, the field representative for Pingree’s Waterville office, said that even though Pingree will vote for the deal, getting messages of support from people in her congressional district helped “solidify” her position.

“Even though it seems like she will vote in favor, it is good to hear from constituents about their feelings on the issue,” Trinward said.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King also favors the deal and called for Congress to approve the agreement last month during a public forum with Waterville native and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell at Colby College. Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins reportedly still is considering her position on the agreement. Collins is the only Republican senator who hasn’t announced whether she is for or against the deal.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, repeatedly has signaled his opposition to “any Iran deal that leads to a likelihood” of the country getting a nuclear weapon.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

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