#IranDeal: What They Are Saying

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 14, 2015
Secretary Kerry Poses for a Group Photo With Fellow EU, P5+1 Foreign Ministers and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif After Reaching Iran Nuclear Deal

The announcement of the historic nuclear deal signed by the United States and its allies with Iran on Tuesday generated positive comments from a broad range of people and organizations. Here is a small sample:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: "This is testament to the value of dialogue."  BAN KI-MOON: "I hope – and indeed believe – that this agreement will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East.  As such it could serve as a vital contribution to peace and stability both in the region and beyond." [Statement, 7/14/15]

Bishop Oscar Cantú, U.S. Conference of Bishops: "...may the negotiated framework ‘be a definitive step toward a more security and fraternal world,’ a goal we all share" CANTU: "I welcome the momentous agreement just reached between the United States and its P5+1 partners with Iran.  This significant achievement aims to curb Iran’s development of nuclear weapons while allowing them to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes...The United States and its international partners have taken a remarkable step with Iran in reaching this agreement. We encourage Congress to support these efforts to build bridges that foster peace and greater understanding. In the words of Pope Francis, may the negotiated framework ‘be a definitive step toward a more security and fraternal world,’ a goal we all share." [USCCB Media Release, 7/14/2015]

Joe Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund: "The deal...is a major victory for U.S. national security"  CIRINCIONE: "The deal just struck by Iran, the United States, and five other world powers in Vienna is a major victory for U.S. national security. It shrinks Iran’s nuclear complex down to a token capability and wraps it in a permanent inspection and monitoring regime." [Early Warning from the desk of Joe Cirincione, 7/14/2015]

New York Times Editorial Board: "It would be irresponsible to squander this chance to rein in Iran’s nuclear program." NYT EDITORIAL BOARD: "Agreeing on the nuclear deal is just the first step. Congress gets to review and vote on it. Powerful forces, like Mr. Netanyahu, have vowed to defeat it and Mr. Obama may have to make good on his vow to veto any resolution of disapproval. It would be irresponsible to squander this chance to rein in Iran’s nuclear program." [New York Times, 7/14/2015]

Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg, Center for a New American Security: "The limitations on Iran’s enrichment program and the inspections and verification mechanisms that Iran and the P5+1 agreed to are sufficient to ensure that Iran will be caught long before it is able to obtain a nuclear weapon through either a covert or overt breakout." GOLDENBERG, ROSENBERG: "The limitations on Iran’s enrichment program and the inspections and verification mechanisms that Iran and the P5+1 agreed to are sufficient to ensure that Iran will be caught long before it is able to obtain a nuclear weapon through either a covert or overt breakout. Iran’s desperation for economic relief and its desire to avoid re-imposition of painful sanctions should provide an adequate deterrent to prevent such cheating. The biggest open question is whether the United States, Iran, and the international community can sustain the political will and resources to implement this agreement in the long run." [Center for New American Security Press Note, 7/14/2015]

Former Ambassador Nicholas Burns: “I Believe We've Got To Contain [Iran’s] Threat In The Middle East, And We Have To Stop Them. But I Also Believe That President Obama's Policy Is Worthy … Of Your Support. I'm Going To Support It Because I Think It's The Best Alternative.” BURNS: "I worked on Iran policy for President Bush and Secretary Rice for three years as undersecretary of state. I helped to sanction Iran. I believe we've got to contain their threat in the Middle East, and we have to stop them. But I also believe that President Obama's policy is worthy of our -- of your support. I'm going to support it because I think it's the best alternative. If I could have designed a perfect alternative, it would be a 100-to-zero victory for the United States and the submission of Iran. That alternative is not available to the United States, and whether we oppose it or whether we support it, we've got to think in the real world about what the alternatives have been.” [Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 7/14/15]

Sanctions Expert Richard Nephew: “It Is A Good Deal. I Think, Frankly, It Deals With The Nuclear Problem In Iran In A Sustainable Way.” “ROBERTS: From what you know of this deal, what’s your take? NEPHEW: It is a good deal. I think, frankly, it deals with the nuclear problem in Iran in a sustainable way and will prevent Iran from having a uranium-based bomb for at least ten years, and a plutonium-based bomb potentially forever. So it’s a good deal. … I think we have to step back and think of the consequences of not having a deal. If you didn’t have a deal, you would also have a nuclear armed Iran potentially involved in all these different conflict. That’s not much of a good idea either. The sanctions that were put in place against Iran in the U.N. were done so for nuclear-related reasons, so if you try to hold onto them for conventional related reasons or terrorism-related reasons you potentially lose the deal and then everything gets worse.”  [MSNBC Thomas Roberts, 7/14/15]

James Rubin, Former Assistant Secretary Of State: “What Arms Control Did Back In The Reagan And Nixon Era Was To Manage The Arms Competition, To Reduce The Risk Of Nuclear War And Reduce The Risk Of The Growth Of Soviet Arsenals. This Is Exactly What We're Doing Now. It's Not About Changing The Iranian Regime. It's Not About Getting Them To Be The Good Guys. It's About Getting Access To Their Programs We Wouldn't Otherwise Have, And To Limiting The Size Of Those Programs.” RUBIN: "I think you're right to bring up the SALT and START agreements and arms control with the Soviet Union. I think there really is an important analogy here. That is that all the critics, Senator Cotton and all the critics likely to come out in the Republican Party and the Congress, are correctly, in their view, regarding Iran as the adversary, the enemy, just the way we regarded the Soviet Union as the adversary and the enemy. What arms control did back in the Reagan and Nixon era was to manage the arms competition, to reduce the risk of nuclear war and reduce the risk of the growth of Soviet arsenals. This is exactly what we're doing now. It's not about changing the Iranian regime. It's not about getting them to be the good guys. It's about getting access to their programs we wouldn't otherwise have, and to limiting the size of those programs.” [MSNBC Morning Joe, 7/14/15]

Jim Walsh, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology's Security Studies Program: “We Shouldn't Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good Here …I Don’t See What Alternatives Beat This Right Now.” “The deal might not be perfect, but it's certainly better than the alternatives, said Jim Walsh, a nuclear policy and international security expert and research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program. ‘We shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good here,’ Walsh said. ‘I don't see what alternatives beat this right now.’ Imposing sanctions would mean Tehran goes back to developing nuclear weapons, he said. ‘We could bomb them, as some have suggested, and it would set back their program…but then after four years they'd go back (to developing weapons), compared to 15 years where they are voluntarily not pursuing their program,’ said Walsh who also testified in June before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on the implications of a nuclear deal with Iran. The benefit to the deal is largely a practical matter of ‘locking Iran in so they go down the path of nonproliferation rather than developing nuclear weapon,’ Walsh said.” [NBC News, 7/14/15]

Truman National Security Project Executive Director Michael Breen: “This Historic Agreement Demonstrates The Power Of Strong, Forceful Diplomacy And, If It Is Implemented And Enforced Properly, Will Make America And Our Allies Safer And Stronger.” BREEN: “This historic agreement demonstrates the power of strong, forceful diplomacy and, if it is implemented and enforced properly, will make America and our allies safer and stronger. The agreement closes off all of Iran’s potential avenues to a nuclear weapon, gives us access to their entire nuclear supply chain, and imposes the strictest monitoring and verification regime ever negotiated in the history of non-proliferation. If Iran cheats, we will know in time to take decisive action – and all options will be on the table. Many of us witnessed firsthand the damage done by an unnecessary war fought in the Middle East in the name of nuclear non-proliferation. This time, through tough American-led diplomacy, we have closed off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon without risking American lives.” [Truman National Security Project, 7/14/15]

The Arms Control Association: “We Assess That The Final Agreement Will Be A Net-Plus For Nonproliferation And Will Enhance U.S. And Regional Security.” “The P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have finalized a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran that will verifiably block Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons development--the uranium-enrichment route and the plutonium-separation route--and guard against a clandestine weapons program. We assess that the final agreement will be a net-plus for nonproliferation and will enhance U.S. and regional security.” [Arms Control Association Policy Brief, 7/14/15]

The Board of the National Security Network and the National Security Initiative as well as NSN's Advisory Board made the following statement regarding today's announcement of a nuclear agreement with Iran: “The comprehensive joint plan of action (CJPoA) announced July 14th between the P5+1 nations and Iran represents a major step toward the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and, rigorously implemented, will make America safer.” [Statement, 7/14/15]


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Maureen V.
Massachusetts, USA
July 14, 2015
A voluntary commitment that has the support of so many nations. Naysayers, ponder for a moment the significance of voluntary cooperation. Who has a better alternative to the path of peace with Iran? Does logic warrant that the solution to an imperfect peace deal is no solution...? Does your critique allow for concrete, voluntary agreements such that they better this historic effort among nations? Congratulations Secretary kerry and President Obama for the steadfast diplomacy not to mention former Secretary Clinton, EU p5+1 and the leadership of Iran. You have all chosen 'the road less traveled" and it looks brighter every day. Finally, much hope for news of missing American Robert Levinson! For certain, that is 'what they are saying". Thanks Dipnote Bloggers as always, for what you are saying.
Alison R.
Kansas, USA
July 14, 2015
Sec. Kerry, thank you. Thank you for your hard work, and your determination to get this done.
John G.
Montana, USA
July 15, 2015
Glad this President Had the guts to foster a peace plan........I'm sure the Hawks and the military complex are pissed..... So be it in the name of peace.
Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
July 22, 2015
Nuclear weapons are a weapon of the past anyways. It's just a waste of money on an old technology....Think, where is the cloud going to go, you would be better off shooting your self in the foot first. Fall out goes every where, including neighboring countries. Unless you like showing in radio active waste for the next thousand years, as the cloud dissipates over your countries. It's a waste of time and money. What a waste money that could be spent on the development of your own thriving society instead. :)


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