100 Former Ambassadors Support the Iran Deal

Letter to the President from over 100 former American Ambassadors on the JCPOA on Iran’s Nuclear Program.

July 16, 2015

Dear Mr. President:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran stands as a landmark agreement in deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons. If properly implemented, this 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. Without your determination and the admirable work of Secretary of State Kerry and his team, this agreement would never have been reached.

As former American diplomats, we have devoted much of our lives to ensuring that the President had available the best possible diplomatic approaches to dealing with challenges to our nation’s security, even while recognizing that a strong military is essential to help the President and the Congress to carry out their duties to protect the nation and its people. Effective diplomacy backed by credible defense will be critically important now, during the period of inspection and verification of Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

The JCPOA touches on some of America’s most important national objectives: non-proliferation and the security of our friends in the Middle East particularly Israel. Ensuring the cooperation and implementation of this agreement by a hostile nation will require constant, dedicated U.S. leadership and unflagging attention.

We recognize that the JCPOA is not a perfect or risk-free settlement of this problem. However, we believe without it, the risks to the security of the United States and our friends and allies would be far greater. We are satisfied that the JCPOA will put in place a set of constraints and inspections that can assure that Iran’s nuclear program during the terms of the agreement will remain only for peaceful purposes and that no part of Iran is exempt from inspection. As with any negotiated settlement, the most durable and effective agreement is one that all sides will commit to and benefit from over the long term.

We support close Congressional involvement in the oversight, monitoring and enforcement of this agreement. Congress must be a full partner in its implementation and must evaluate carefully the value and feasibility of any alternative that would claim better to protect U.S. security and more effectively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. In particular, Congress must give careful attention to evaluating whether alternatives would be more or less likely to narrow the options for resolving this issue without the use of force.

In our judgment the JCPOA deserves Congressional support and the opportunity to show it can work. We firmly believe that the most effective way to protect U.S. national security, and that of our allies and friends is to ensure that tough-minded diplomacy has a chance to succeed before considering other more costly and risky alternatives.

With respect,
 

 Amb. (ret.) Diego C. Asencio, Ambassador to Colombia and Brazil
 Amb. (ret.) Adrian Basora, Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
 J. Brian Atwood, Administrator of USAID and Under Secretary of State for Management 
 Amb. (ret.) William M. Bellamy, Ambassador to Kenya
 Amb. (ret.) John R. Beyrle, Ambassador to Russia and Bulgaria
 Amb. (ret.) James Keough Bishop, Ambassador to Niger, Liberia and Somalia
 Amb. (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine, Ambassador to Yemen
 Amb. (ret.) Avis BohlenAssistant Secretary for Arms Control
 Amb. (ret.) Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security 
 Amb. (ret.) Stephen Bosworth, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
 Amb. (ret.) Richard BoucherAssistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia
 Amb. (ret.) Kenneth C. Brill, Ambassador to the IAEA, UN and founder of the U.S. National Counterproliferation Center 
 Amb (ret.) Kenneth L. Brown, Ambassador to Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana
 Amb. (ret.) A. Peter Burleigh, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
 Amb. (ret.) Nicholas Burns, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to Greece and NATO
 Amb. (ret.) James F. Collins, Ambassador to the Russian Federation and Ambassador at Large for the New Independent States
 Amb. (ret.) Edwin G. CorrAmbassador to Peru, Bolivia and El Salvador 
 Amb. (ret.) William Courtney, CommissionerBilateral Consultative Commission to implement theThreshold Test Ban Treaty 
 Amb. (ret.) Ryan CrockerAmbassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon
 Amb. (ret.) James B. Cunningham, Ambassador to Israel, Afghanistan and the United Nations
 Amb. (ret.) Walter L. CutlerAmbassador to Saudi Arabia, Tunisia
 Amb. (ret.) Ruth A. Davis, Ambassador to the Republic of Benin and Director General of the Foreign Service
 Amb. (ret.) John Gunther Dean, Ambassador to India
 Amb. (ret.) Shaun Donnelly, Ambassador to Sri Lanka
 Amb. (ret.) Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, Ambassador to Senegal
 Amb. (ret.) Theodore L. Eliot Jr., Ambassador to Afghanistan
 Amb. (ret.) Nancy Ely-Raphel, Ambassador to Slovenia
 Amb. (ret.) Chas W. Freeman, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
 Amb. (ret.) Robert Gallucci, Ambassador at Large
 Amb. (ret.) Robert S. Gelbard, President’s Special Representative for the Balkans
 David C. Gompert, former Acting Director of National Intelligence
 Amb. (ret.) James E. GoodbySpecial Representative of the President for Nuclear Security and Dismantlement, and Ambassador to Finland 
 Amb. (ret.) Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Ambassador to Turkey 
 Amb. (ret.) Brandon Grove, Director Foreign Service Institute
 Amb. (ret.)William Harrop, Ambassador to Israel, Guinea, Kenya, and Seychelles
 Amb. (ret.) Ulric Haynes, Jr., Ambassador to Algeria
 Amb. (ret.) Donald Hays, Ambassador to the United Nations
 Amb. (ret.) Heather M. Hodges, Ambassador to Ecuador and Moldova
 Amb. (ret.) Karl Hofmann, Ambassador to Togo
 Amb. (ret.) Thomas C. Hubbard, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
 Amb. (ret.) Vicki Huddleston, Ambassador to Mali and Madagascar 
 Thomas L. Hughes,, former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
 Amb. (ret.) Dennis Jett, Ambassador to Mozambique and Peru
 Amb. (ret.) Beth Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia
 Amb. (ret.) James R. Jones, Ambassador to Mexico and formerly Member of Congress and White House Chief of Staff 
 Amb. (ret.) Theodore Kattouf, Ambassador to Syria and United Arab Emirates
 Amb. (ret.) Richard D. Kauzlarich, Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Amb. (ret.) Kenton W. Keith, Ambassador to Qatar 
 Amb. (ret.) Roger Kirk, Ambassador to Romania and Somalia
 Amb. (ret.) John C. Kornblum, Ambassador to Germany and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) Eleni Kounalakis, Ambassador to Hungar
 Amb. (ret.) Daniel Kurtzer, Ambassador to Israel and Egypt 
 Amb. (ret.) Bruce Laingen, Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran (1979)
 Frank E. Loy, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) William Luers, Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Venezuela
 Amb. (ret.) Princeton N. LymanAssistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) John F. Maisto, Ambassador to Organization of American States, Venezuela, Nicaragua
 Amb. (ret.) Jack Matlock, Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Special Assistant to the President for National Security 
 Amb. (ret.) Donald F. McHenry, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations
 Amb. (ret.) Thomas E. McNamara, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Ambassador to Colombia, and at Large for Counterterrorism
 Amb. (ret.) William B. Milam, Ambassador to Pakistan and Bangladesh
 Amb. (ret.) Tom Miller, Ambassador to Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina
 Amb. (ret.) George E. Moose, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador to Benin, Senegal
 Amb. (ret.) Cameron Munter, Ambassador to Pakistan and Serbia
 Amb. (ret.) Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
 Amb. (ret.) Ronald E. Neumann, Ambassador to Afghanistan, Algeria, and Bahrain
 Amb. (ret.) Thomas M. T. Niles, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Canada and Ambassador to Greece
 Phyllis E. Oakley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Intelligence and Research
 Amb. (ret.) W. Robert Pearson, Ambassador to Turkey 
 Amb. (ret.) Robert H. Pelletreau, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affair 
 Amb. (ret.) Pete Peterson, Ambassador to Vietnam
 Amb. (ret.) Thomas PickeringUndersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to Israel, Russia, India, United Nations, El Salvador, Nigeria and Jordan
 Amb. (ret.) Joan M. Plaisted, Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Kitibati
 Amb. (ret.) Nicholas Platt, Ambassador to Pakistan, Philippines, and Zambia
 Amb. (ret.) Anthony Quainton, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic security or Director General ofthe Foreign Service
 Amb. (ret.) Robin L. Raphel, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia
 Amb. (ret.) Charles A. Ray, Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs
 Amb (ret.) Arlene Render, Ambassador to The Gambia, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire
 Amb. (ret.) Julissa Reynoso, Ambassador to Uruguay 
 Amb. (ret.) Francis J. Ricciardone, Ambassador to Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, and Palau
 Amb. (ret.) Rozanne L. Ridgway, Assistant Secretary for Europe and Canada and Counselor of the Department 
 Amb. (ret.) Peter F. Romero, Assistant Secretary of State
 Amb. (ret.) Theodore Sedgwick, Ambassador to Slovakia
 Amb. (ret.) J. Stapleton Roy, Ambassador to China and Indonesia
 Amb. (ret.) William A. Rugh, Ambassador to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates
 Amb. (ret.) Janet A Sanderson, Ambassador to Algeria and Haiti
 Amb. (ret.) Teresita C. Schaffer, Ambassador to Sri Lanka
 Amb. (ret.) Howard B. Schaffer, Ambassador to Bangladesh
 Amb. (ret.) Raymond G. H. Seitz, Ambassador to the United Kingdom
 Amb. (ret.) John Shattuck, Ambassador to the Czech Republic
 Amb. (ret.) Ronald I. Spiers, Ambassador to Pakistan, Turkey and Assistant Secretary for Politico-Military Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) William Lacy Swing, Ambassador to South Africa, Nigeria, Haiti, Congo-DRC, Liberia, and Republic of Congo
 Amb. (ret.) Patrick Nickolas Theros, Ambassador to the State of Qatar
 Arturo A. Valenzuela, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) William J. Vanden Heuvel, Deputy Permanent United States Representative to the United Nations
 Amb. (ret.) Nicholas A. Veliotes, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) Richard N. Viets, Ambassador to Jordan
 Amb. (ret.) Edward S. Walker, Jr., Ambassador to Israel, Egypt and United Arab Emirates
 Amb. (ret.) Alexander F. Watson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Ambassador to Peru
 Amb. (ret.) Melissa Wells, Ambassador to Estonia, DRC-Congo, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau
 Amb. (ret.) Philip C. Wilcox Junior, Ambassador at Large for Counter Terrorism
 Molly K. Williamson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Defense, and Commerce 
 Amb. (ret.) Frank Wisner, Ambassador to India, Egypt, the Philippines and Zambia, and Under Secretary ofState for International Security Affairs
 Amb. (ret.) John Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation
 Amb. (ret.) Kenneth Yalowitz, Ambassador to Belarus and Georgia

Originally posted by the Iran Project.

*All the above signers have retired from the US Government and the positions listed after their names are some of 
those held while in office.
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