Republican opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal is at best willfully ignorant and at worst is hypocritical, as they brand themselves champions of national security yet for political and ideological reasons oppose an excellent deal.
A huge consensus of experts praises the deal. Twenty-nine prominent nuclear scientists sent President Obama a letter praising the deal, over three dozen retired generals and admirals endorsed it in a letter, and nuclear security and nonproliferation experts also praise it.
The letter by the retired generals and admirals entitled “Iran deal benefits U.S. national security” calls the deal “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” explaining that it “provides for intrusive verification … and is not based on trust; the deal requires verifications and tough sanctions for failure to comply.”
The letter from the 29 scientists describes it as “the most comprehensive verification ever obtained,” including monitoring of uranium mining, milling, conversion to uranium hexafluoride, centrifuge manufacturing and R&D, and real-time monitoring of active centrifuges and spent fuel. Furthermore, it allows challenge inspections for any suspected clandestine operations.
Finally, “the deal includes important long-term verification procedures that last until 2040, and others that last indefinitely under the Nonproliferation Treaty and its Additional Protocol.” The deal “will make it much easier … to know if and when Iran heads for a bomb, and the detection of a significant violation of this agreement will provide strong, internationally supported justification for intervention.” [still quoting frmo the scientists’ letter]
I feel strongly about this topic because I worked for the National Nuclear Security Administration before I began pursuing my PhD in Ecological Engineering. I’ve heard my former colleagues’ frustration that politics threaten a deal that will increase the safety of our country.
The deal will also end the suffering of everyday Iranians under the sanctions, as they have played a major role in harming the economy and leading to massive inflation. Some articles on this are here (AlJazeera), here (PBS), and here (NY Times).
Far too often, Republicans are proving themselves to be the party of “no,” aiming to block everything and anything Obama does in a zero-sum race to the bottom.
Finally, here’s an video an Iranian friend shared with me, showing how much everyday Iranians know about our Republican candidates for president!