As the date for voting on the Iran nuclear deal approaches, please note that despite the split of public opinion on the issue, the vast majority of those knowledgeable about the issue support the deal. A number of military officers, scientists and diplomats have publicly weighed in on the issue, and in almost all cases they favor approval of the deal. I urge you to support the deal.
Three dozen retired generals and admirals have written an open letter supporting the nuclear deal and urging Congress to do the same. They called the agreement “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/retired-generals-and-admirals-back-iran-nuclear-deal/2015/08/11/bd26f6ae-4045-11e5-bfe3-ff1d8549bfd2_story.html and http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/world/read-an-open-letter-from-retired-generals-and-admirals-on-the-iran-nuclear-deal/1689/)
Twenty-nine top American scientists have written President Obama supporting approval of the deal. Many of those who signed have worked on America’s nuclear weapons program; some were Nobel laureates. The New York Times notes that many of the scientists hold Department of Energy “Q” clearances allowing access to sensitive technical information about nuclear weapons. I held a “Q” clearance when I was a State Department Foreign Service officer, because I worked on nuclear non-proliferation issues. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/world/29-us-scientists-praise-iran-nuclear-deal-in-letter-to-obama.html and http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/08/world/document-iranletteraug2015.html)
Finally, many of my former State Department colleagues have written supporting the agreement. A letter to President Obama signed by more than 100 former American ambassadors stated, “If properly implemented, the comprehensive and rigorously negotiated agreement can be an effective instrument in arresting Iran’s nuclear program and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the volatile and vitally important region of the Middle East.” I served with a number of the ambassadors signing the letter, some when we were young junior officers together; others were ambassadors under whom I served overseas. I have recently been corresponding about this issue with Amb. Dennis Jett, who signed the letter. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/17/us/politics/former-us-diplomats-praise-iran-deal.html and http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/16/us/politics/document-american-ambassadors-letter.html)
I hope that you will take the views of these experts who favor the Iran nuclear deal into consideration in your deliberations. In addition, they represent the views of many others from their professions, like myself. I believe that it will make the world, the United States, and the Middle East, including Israel, safer. It will significantly restrict Iran’s nuclear activities, and it will provide ten to fifteen years of breathing space in which to work out the next steps for preventing further nuclear proliferation in the region.