Experts Support the Iran Deal

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Experts

100 Former Ambassadors, including Amb. Thomas Pickering (ret.), Fmr. Amb. to Israel; Amb. Daniel Kurtzer (ret.), Fmr. Amb. to Israel; Amb. Nicholas Burns (ret.), Fmr. Amb. to NATO; and Amb. Ryan Crocker (ret.), Fmr. Amb. to Afghanistan and Iraq- “The JCPOA deserves Congressional support. 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 alternatives. We are satisfied that the JCPOA will put in place a set of constraints and inspections that can assure that Iran’s nuclear program… will remain only for peaceful purposes and that no part of Iran is exempt from inspection.” [7/16]

70+ Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts- “If all sides comply with and faithfully implement their multi-year obligations, the agreement will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region – giving time and space to address other regional problems without fear of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons—and head off a catastrophic military conflict over Iran’s nuclear program. Though all of us could find ways to improve the text, we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement.” [8/18]

340 American Rabbis- “We are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.” [8/17]

26 Jewish Leaders, including former AIPAC official Thomas Dine- “While not perfect, this deal is the best available option to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” [8/20]

51 Christian Leaders- “This is a moment to remember the wisdom of Jesus who proclaimed from the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).This agreement moves us further away from the possibility of war and another nuclear-armed nation. There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it.” [8/24]

73 International Relations Scholars- “While the JCPOA is primarily a non-proliferation agreement that successfully closes off all weaponization pathways in the Iranian nuclear program, it carries with it significant peace dividends by making diplomacy and dialogue available for conflict resolution – a necessary step to tackle all of the region’s sources of tensions, be they terrorism, sectarianism, or unilateralism.” [8/27]

75 Former Members of Congress- “We believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that the United States and our P5+1 partners negotiated with the government of Iran is the most viable means to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and protect the security of the United States, Israel and other allies.” [8/31]

72 Prominent Iranian Dissidents- “We urge you to adopt a new approach to security challenges of the Middle East by casting a vote for JCPOA and announcing your approval of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. Such a move will constitute a precedent setting contribution to the resolution of international disputes through dialogue and diplomacy. The irrational animosity between Iran and the United States is a disservice to both nations and a major hindrance to the struggle for democracy in Iran.” [8/30]

Over 4100 Catholic Sisters- “The [JCPOA] provides an extraordinary opportunity for the global community to risk peace in a region that continues to witness the ravaging effects of violence and war as a modus operandi for addressing conflict. [9/2]

254 progressive academics- “This agreement, if approved, will greatly reduce the chances of war with Iran and will enhance the security of Israel. A failure to approve this agreement will be a signal to the world that the US is not serious about avoiding war.”[9/2]

29 U.S. Scientists, including Richard Garwin, IBM Fellow Emeritus, Siegfried Hecker, Stanford University, and Rush Holt, American Association for the Advancement of Science- “We congratulate you and your team on negotiating a technically sound, stringent, and innovative deal that will provide the necessary assurance… that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.” [8/8]

100 prominent American women- “Congress should fully embrace this successful negotiation and encourage the administration to use this momentum to seek other non-violent solutions to global conflicts.” [9/3]

60 National Security Leaders, including Madeleine Albright, Fmr. Secretary of State; Samuel Berger, Fmr. National Security Advisor; William Perry; Fmr. Secretary of Defense; Admiral Eric Olson (ret.), Fmr. Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; Amb. Edward J. Walker, Jr. (ret.), Amb. to Israel, Egypt, and UAE- “We applaud the announcement that a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reached with Iran to limit its nuclear program. We congratulate President Obama and all the negotiators for a landmark agreement unprecedented in its importance for preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. Though primarily a nonproliferation agreement, the JCPOA has significant implications for some of America’s most important national objectives: regional stability in the Middle East, Israel’s security, dealing with an untrustworthy and hostile nation, and U.S. leadership on major global challenges.” [7/19]

70 members of the European Leadership Network, including Des Browne, Chair of ELN; George Robertson, Fmr. Secretary General of NATO; Michel Rocard, Fmr. Prime Minister of France; Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Fmr. Secretary General of NATO; Volker Ruhe, Fmr. German Defense Minister- “We urge all the parties to implement it in good faith and call on all European states and the wider international community to support it. We believe that this agreement provides a sound framework for ending the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program and a foundation for re-integrating Iran into the international community. At the same time, the adoption of the document is just a first step in a process which must increase the level of the security of all countries in the Middle East, Europe and beyond.” [7/24]

98 Prominent Hollywood Jews, including billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad; Walt Disney Concert Hall architect Frank Gehry; TV writer-producer Norman Lear; and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner- “We strongly approve the proposed Iran nuclear agreement… Congress killing the deal would be a tragic mistake.” [8/12]

7 Former Under Secretaries of State and Former American Ambassadors to Israel- “We are persuaded that this agreement will put in place a set of constraints and monitoring measures that will arrest Iran’s nuclear program for at least fifteen years and assure that this agreement will leave Iran no legitimate avenue to produce a nuclear weapon during the next ten to fifteen years. This landmark agreement removes the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the region and to Israel specifically. No agreement between multiple parties can be perfect or without risks. We believe that without this agreement, however, the risks will be much higher for the United States and Israel.  We see no fatal flaws that should call for the rejection of this agreement and have not heard any  viable alternatives from those who oppose the implementation of the JCPOA. The rejection of this agreement could lead to the U.S. having to use military force  without the support of other allies and without the understanding of the international community.” [7/27]

120 Democratic donors, including Guy Saperstein and Amb. (ret.) David Jacobson– “Lawmakers should have no doubt about the likely consequences of rejecting this agreement. The United States would be viewed as reneging on a done deal, almost certainly collapsing the multilateral coalition and sanctions regime against Iran’s nuclear program… That is a scenario which would put us back on a path to a nuclear-armed Iran, another costly military campaign—or both.” [8/3]

36 Retired Generals and Admirals, including four-star Marine Gens. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, former head of the U.S. Central Command; and Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton of the Air Force- The international deal blocks the potential pathways to a nuclear bomb, provides for intrusive verification, and strengthens American national security. America and our allies, in the Middle East and around the world, will be safer when this agreement is fully implemented. There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. Military action would be less effective than the deal. [8/11]

Over 500 Iranian Americans, including Vali Nasr, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Shervin Pishevar Co-founder, Sherpa Capital, Strategic Advisor, Uber; and Dara Khosrowshahi CEO, Expedia- “Diplomacy with Iran has the potential to do much more than prevent a war. It provides an opportunity for engagement between cultures, people, and ideas. While the government of Iran and the governments of the West have had profound differences, the people of Iran have a long history of tolerance… We urge you, our fellow Americans, to show your desire for peace and prosperity by supporting the recent agreement among the U.S., Iran, and other major world powers.” [8/11]

Israeli Former Generals and Former Security Chiefs, including Former Head of the Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon and Carmi Gillon, Former Deputy Head of the Mossad Amiram Levine, Uzi Elam – Retired Brigadier General, Head of the Ministry of Defense, former generals David Ben-Besht, Shlomo Gazit, Alex Tal, Aviezer Yaari, Amram Mitzna, Mendi Maron, and Danny Rotschild- “We the undersigned turn to the government of Israel to adopt a policy that will: Renew faith and strengthen diplomatic and security cooperation with the US government in order to prepare for the varied challenges which will arise from the agreement, first and foremost: To form an understanding of the procedures for monitoring and implementation of the agreement, and of the procedures in place in the case of a breach.” [8/3]

Madeleine Albright, Fmr. Secretary of State- “When the next president is elected, I hope that she will be in a position to make sure the deal is carried out. This agreement offers the opportunity to look at other parts of a bilateral relationship.” [7/16]

Madeleine Albright, Fmr. Secretary of State- “The United States will be in a far better position to shape events in the region with this nuclear agreement in place than without it. This accord is a bold stroke of diplomacy, and an opportunity we must not waste.” [8/31]

Graham Allison, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs- “The overriding objective of the United States has been to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. This agreement achieves that objective by stopping Iran verifiably short of a bomb.” [9/7]

Graham Allison, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs- “Having carefully reviewed the lengthy and complex agreement negotiated by the United States and its international partners with Iran, I have reached the following conclusion: If I were a member of Congress, I would vote yes on the deal.” [8/4/2015]

Yossi Alpher, Fmr. Senior official of Mossad- “The Iran nuclear deal makes the Middle East a safer place in one extremely important dimension and for a reasonable period of time. If Netanyahu were wise, he would exploit the deal to Israel’s strategic advantage. Meanwhile, in the short term security is liable to deteriorate in other regional dimensions.” [7/20]

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA- “I am confident in our ability to do this important work. The IAEA stands ready to undertake the necessary monitoring and verification activities when requested.” [7/14]

Steve Andreasen, National Security Council- “The most likely alternative to this agreement is not some other agreement; rather, it is the unraveling of the international coalition in support of sanctions against Iran, less transparency into Iran’s activities, and a potential war between the United States and Iran. If Congress votes to kill this deal, the United States will be widely perceived as scuttling an accord negotiated over many years and supported by Europe, Russia, China, and much of the rest of the world. A verifiable agreement that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful would provide a foundation for strategic patience and at least delay if not obviate such a fateful course. The technical details of this agreement matter. However, what matters at least equally is what is not written down on paper: Iran’s capacity to produce a nuclear weapon cannot be erased by any agreement; an agreement with Iran can buy valuable time; and war with Iran is perhaps the most likely alternative to this deal.” [7/21]

Kofi Annan, Fmr. Secretary-General of the United Nations– “The countries of the world can be grateful for the… hope that this agreement has brought. It is vital that tangible and early progress is now made on implementation, in particular on watertight verification mechanisms and the lifting of sanctions on Iran.” [7/14]

Ami Ayalon, Fmr. Director of Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service)- “Reaching the agreement wasn’t a mistake. It is the best of the available options, even though it strengthens Iran as a troublemaker.” [7/16]

Fmr. Representatives Michael Barnes (D-MD) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD)- “We know of no viable alternatives to this agreement. Yes, there are risks to supporting the deal, but those must be considered against the grave risks that will be incurred should Congress reject it.” [8/31]

Robert Beckhusen, War is Boring- “Iran and the P5+1 coalition of six major powers have reached a historic deal to halt Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program. Worry not. It will take years for Tehran to rebuild its lagging economy. The biggest development is that Iran now won’t have a nuclear weapon.” [7/14]

Avishay Ben Sasson-Gordis, Molad- “Thanks to the talks, Iran’s nuclear program has been scaled back for the first time in over a decade. There is no better option. Netanyahu claims that the agreement places Iran on the nuclear threshold in ten years – but without the deal, it would be there by now.” [7/14]

Johan Bergenas, Stimson Center- “We shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Overall, the JCPOA moves the U.S.-Iranian relationship in the right direction and should be considered one part in a broader and longer-term conversation between the West and Iran on a wider range of security issues.” [9/7]

Azriel Bermant, Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University- “The JCPOA is deeply flawed, but its opponents have yet to come up with a convincing alternative to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” [9/7]

Lance Billingsley, Friends Committee on National Legislation- “The Iran deal reached in Vienna is a historic diplomatic victory. If all parties uphold their commitments, this comprehensive agreement will keep Iran from a nuclear bomb and keep the United States from yet another devastating war in the Middle East. In voting for the deal, [Congress] will be siding with the majority of nuclear and nonproliferation experts supporting this deal, as well as the majority of the American people.” [7/13]

Barry Blechman, Stimson- “This is an historic agreement which stops Iran’s nuclear program in its tracks for at least ten years, and probably for many more. It includes all necessary technical measures to ensure that Iran is complying with its commitments, provides sanctions relief only as those commitments are demonstrated, and will make the U.S. and its friends in the region far more secure than they would be in any other scenario.” [7/14]

Hans Blix, Fmr. Head of the IAEA- “I think it is a remarkably far-reaching and detailed agreement. And I think it has a potential for stabilizing and improving the situation in the region as it gradually gets implemented. The alternative mind you, as Obama says, the alternative really is toward war.” [7/20]

May Boeve, 350.org- “The Iran deal represents the result of significant diplomatic effort, and such efforts build on one another. They restore trust among countries in resolving conflict through cooperation, and these are the skills we need to build as the world rapidly changes around us.”

Butch Bracknell and Adam Tiffen, Truman National Security Project- “Serving in the U.S. armed forces during a time of conflict was a real honor. It also gave us front-row seats to one of the most significant foreign policy blunders in American history: Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tough U.S.-led diplomacy to reach an enforceable, verifiable agreement preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is essential to ensuring more of our fellow service members and frontline civilians are not placed in harm’s way in yet another ill-defined Middle East conflict.” [7/13]

John Bradshaw and J. Dana Stuster, National Security Network- “If there’s one thing that the nuclear deal’s opponents are correct about, it’s that a nuclear weapon would make Iran’s foreign policy worse. By cutting all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon and imposing an intrusive monitoring regime, the nuclear deal ensures that should Iran pursue its hegemonic dreams, it will do so without the benefit of a nuclear shield.” [7/15]

Michael Breen, Truman National Security Project- “Keeping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is of central importance to American security. This agreement demonstrates the power of tough, principled diplomacy — and will make America and our allies safer and stronger if properly implemented and enforced. American leadership made this agreement possible. Through tough American-led diplomacy, we have charted a better, smarter course.” [7/14]

Des Browne, NTI- “The Iran negotiations themselves are an example of diplomacy and leadership overcoming extremely difficult problems. I have confidence that if we can verify this agreement, then Iran will be kept from developing a nuclear weapon for between 10 and 15 years. From that perspective, it is a good deal.” [7/14]

Nicholas Burns, Fmr. American Diplomat- “The reality is that it is a painful agreement to make, but also necessary and wise. And we might think of it as just the end of the beginning of a long struggle to contain Iran.” [7/14]

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom- “The international community has delivered a historic deal with Iran. A deal which secures our fundamental aim – to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon – and that will help to make our world a safer place.” [7/14]

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom- “I think that if there wasn’t a deal, I think we would face Iran with a nuclear weapon.  And that would’ve given a terrible choice to the West of either enabling that, allowing that to happen, or a very difficult decision to take military action. So, this the better outcome. It keeps Iran away from a nuclear weapon. It’s a successful negotiation for the allies. And I think we should be proud of a good deal done.” [7/19]

Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK- “For the first time in years, diplomacy had triumphed over military options. Finally. It is incomprehensible that any reasonably thoughtful person could oppose this historic step toward peace. After years of bloodshed and suffering, it is time we realize that diplomacy, combined with humanitarian efforts and economic development, are the real path to peace and stability. I agree with the president that it would be “irresponsible” to walk away from the Iran agreement. It would also be immoral. My message to Congress is this: Vote for this agreement so that people triumph over terror. Vote for this agreement so that peace triumphs over destruction. Vote for this agreement so that, at least in part, the community of nations is made more whole.” [7/16]

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter- “Today, the Iran deal provides the opportunity to address an even greater nuclear threat. Congress should support it because, once implemented, the deal will remove a critical source of risk and uncertainty in a vitally important but tumultuous region.” [9/4]

Asha Castleberry, the American Security Project, US Army veteran- “The Iran deal is the only option that will do the exact opposite of stopping Iran from building their first nuclear weapon. Instead, the deal will put the brakes on the buildup of the nuclear program while allowing the U.S. to snap back to its original robust economic sanctions if Iran decides to cheat.” [8/20]

George Chase- “This deal marks progress and success, and it will be the legacy of President Barack Obama. While this deal may not be flawless, it is a monumental step in the right direction. It first and foremost significantly reduces the chance of war, which is a victory in itself for both sides. This marks the beginning of a long but promising path to peace.” [7/15]

Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund- “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.” [7/14]

Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund- “The nuclear agreement with Iran is supported by almost every nation in the world. It has the backing of nearly the entire American security establishment, current and retired. It enjoys the overwhelming support of nuclear scientists and policy experts. There is no credible alternative.” [8/23]

Hillary Clinton, Fmr. Secretary of State- “This is an important step in putting a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. In the agreement we have the access for inspections and the transparency that was absolutely necessary. As president [I would] be absolutely devoted to ensure that the agreement is followed.” [7/14]

Hillary Clinton, Fmr. Secretary of State- “You’re going to hear a lot about it in the weeks ahead, so please educate yourself. Speak out about it. We have to pursue diplomacy if we expect to be able to solve difficult problems with the rest of the world supporting us.” [8/10]

Hillary Clinton, Fmr. Secretary of State- “It is by no means perfect, but it’s an important step. I think the American people are going to want a president who supports diplomacy even with those who are our adversaries; to try to reach the kind of understandings that we have; but who will also get up every day and enforce that agreement, strongly and vigilantly.” [9/7]

Avner Cohen, Israeli expert on nuclear issues- “It’s good because it contains the potential to drastically change the Israeli agenda and the Israeli condition. The removal of the ‘Iranian threat’ can provide a huge positive impact on Israeli politics and on the entire public agenda and quality of life in the country. That perhaps is the real reason why Netanyahu has been whimpering that the accord is a bad one. If the pact works, it could change all of our priorities and force us to deal with Israel’s real pressing issues.” [7/17]

David Cohen, CIA Deputy Director- Intelligence officers are “reasonably” confident that the terms of the nuclear deal would prevent Iran from cheating in a way that avoided international detection. “We would be able to detect Iran if it were trying to deviate from the requirements that they’ve signed up to.” [7/24]

Roger Cohen, The New York Times- “If implemented, the agreement constitutes the most remarkable American diplomatic achievement since the Dayton Accords put an end to the Bosnian war two decades ago. It increases the distance between Iran and a bomb as it reduces the distance between Iran and the world. It makes the Middle East less dangerous by forestalling proliferation.” [7/14]

Tom Collina, Ploughshares Fund- “After years of effort, endless plot twists, and highly charged political drama, the United States and its partners have reached a final deal with Iran to shackle its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. It’s a good deal that Congress should support. It’s time for Congress to rise above partisan politics and act in the best interests of the United States and the world. We have an historic opportunity to verifiably and peacefully prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. Let’s take it.” [7/14]

Fmr. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)- “No agreement is perfect or foolproof, but this pact has the best chance of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons short of an all out military attack.” [8/23]

David Cortright, Win Without War- “The nuclear deal with Iran is one of the most significant nonproliferation agreements in history. It reduces the threat of an Iranian bomb and greatly increases our ability to monitor Tehran’s nuclear program. It deserves the support of members of Congress. The claim that we can get a ‘better deal later’ is false. The American people want a deal with Iran. The choice is clear. Support the current nuclear deal or face a future of more proliferation and war.” [7/14]

Robert Creamer, Democracy Partners- “If the United States Congress derails [the] deal… international sanctions will collapse – the moderate, pro-western forces in Iran will be discredited in Iran – the hardliners in Iran will be empowered – and Iran will be free to develop a nuclear weapon. If somehow the agreement is actually blocked by Congress, the Members whose votes are responsible will – like their predecessors in 2002 – regret those votes for the rest of their lives.” [7/14]

E.J. Dionne Jr., Georgetown University- “President Obama and his allies are right to say that the dangers of having the agreement blocked by Congress are much higher than the risks of trying to make it work.” [8/30]

James F. Dobbins, RAND corporation- “Seldom has the nation faced a starker choice between responsible international leadership and unilateralism.” [9/7]

Matthew Duss, Foundation for Middle East Peace- “The historic nuclear deal announced Tuesday in Vienna between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran demonstrates an alternative vision of the use of American power. It shows that our security and the security of our partners can be effectively advanced through multilateral diplomacy, and proves once again the importance of U.S. global leadership in addressing shared problems. The Vienna agreement is a victory for a better vision of foreign policy.” [7/14]

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.)- “The choice is stark, and clear. Either Congress supports the nuclear deal with Iran, or there will be war. For the security of the United States, and the wellbeing of the men and women who serve her in uniform, Members of Congress must support the tough deal struck by our negotiators, and Iran.” [7/14]

Robert Einhorn, Brookings- “I am biased, having served on the U.S. Iran negotiating team for five years. But I genuinely believe the deal is worthy of support.” [9/7]

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago- “And I think the product of those negotiations, based on all the alternatives — bombing, you’re the only one with sanctions because the international coalition would fall apart — or a way that actually finally would get inspectors into Iran and dealing with the nuclear material. I would vote for that, because that’s the best alternative, and not only that, it is exactly the end point that the original coalition and sanctions were intended to produce.” [8/19]

Oded Eran, Institute for National Security Studies- “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) reached on July 14, 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 and the EU High Representative may ultimately prove to be one of President Obama’s greatest achievements.” [7/16]

Uzi Even, Professor at Tel Aviv University- “The deal that was signed is preferable to the current situation because it delays Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb by at least 15 years and in practice ends its nuclear aspirations.” [7/16]

Joshua Fattal, Doctoral Candidate at NYU and Fmr. Detainee in Iran- “My distrust of the Iranian government is why I think a nuclear deal is the best avenue for the United States government. A nuclear deal would ensure international monitoring of Iranian centrifuges. Without a deal, we are left with the Iranian government acquiring and enriching nuclear material at will. An international accord that monitors the country’s nuclear program and undermines the government’s claims to double standards provides a glimmer of hope to mitigate the catastrophes unfolding in the Middle East.” [7/14]

Lawrence D. Freedman, King’s College London- “I can see only downsides to failing to give the deal support. Much of the American debate ignores the fact that the closest allies of the United States (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) were all closely involved in the negotiations and are already thinking about what comes next. Without this deal, there will be no better deal—just uncertainty, the erosion of sanctions, and no inhibitions on Iran.” [9/7]

Chuck Freilich, Fmr. deputy national security adviser in Israel- “[The deal] is a compromise agreement that postpones an existential threat to Israel, opens the possibility for a strategic change in the Middle East and strengthens Israel’s security.” [7/15]

Thomas Friedman, New York Times- “The diplomatic option structured by the Obama team — if properly implemented and augmented by muscular diplomacy — serves core American interests better than any options I hear coming from the deal’s critics. I believe America’s interests are best served now by focusing on how to get the best out of this deal and cushion the worst, rather than scuttling it.” [7/22]

Akbar Ganji, Iranian journalist and dissident- “The nuclear agreement with Iran, which has imposed severe limitations on Iran’s nuclear program well beyond its international obligations, has ensured that even if Iran wanted the bomb it would not be able to produce it. Thus, it is an important first step toward a Middle East free of WMD.” [9/7]

F. Gregory Gause III, Texas A&M University- “The alternatives are much worse. This will not have any immediate effect on Iranian regional behavior, but it was not meant to have that effect. It reduces the chances of Iranian nuclear breakout, and that is good enough.” [9/7]
Lt. General Robert Gard, Ret.- “It would be advisable for Washington to comply with U.S. commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. After all, agreements last only when all parties involved fulfill their obligations. If the United States is willing to uphold its end of the bargain, there may be long-term success with the Iranian nuclear deal.” [8/26]

Robert Gates, Former Secretary of Defense- “We must now face the reality that there are serious consequences to voting down the agreement or pulling out of it.” [8/5]

Francis Gavin, MIT- “I think the deal is a good one, both for the U.S. and the international community, and I have been puzzled by the concerns of the critics. Good diplomacy is rarely a one-way street, and when assessing the deal, people should bear in mind that the alternatives to not having a deal were unappealing. We must view the deal with Iran through a lens that understands the long and complicated history of nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation, the costs and tradeoffs required to successfully implement it, while recognizing the interests and views of other players, especially the potential proliferant. Viewing the deal through such a lens reveals how impressive it is.” [7/24]

Leslie H. Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations- “As for the heart of the nuclear agreement— for certain it is not perfect, but it does represent clear steps forward in holding Tehran to account on its nuclear efforts. All provisions regarding developing uranium or plutonium hold Iran way below where it is at present and where it’s been headed.” [7/14]

Ellie Geranmayeh, European Council on Foreign Relations- “The deal is based on hard science and is the best means to verify that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. The alternatives to this deal are unpalatable to the P5+1 given that more sanctions or a military response are highly likely to speed up Iran’s nuclear progress and increase the fragility of Middle East.” [9/7]

Fawaz Gerges, London School of Economics- “It’s a good day for diplomacy, it’s a good day for compromise, it’s a good day for a new beginning between Iran — a pivotal state in the Middle East — and the United States” [7/14]

Ali Gharib, The Nation- “Diplomacy prevailed over warmongering. Now there is a deal that without question reduces that grave threat, at least for a long-term period. These small rays of light shone through the ominous clouds that had hung over the Iranian nuclear crisis for a dozen years.” [7/14]

Ali Gharib, The Nation- “According to a survey released this June by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, a group that supported the talks, two-thirds of Iranian Americans were in favor of an agreement, and 6 in 10 of the respondents believe that political and civil rights will improve with a deal. Many Iranian-Americans hope a deal will help advance political reform and, perhaps, help end 30 years of enmity between the U.S. and Iran.” [7/16]

Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg, Center for a New American Security- “The nuclear agreement reached in Vienna creates an unprecedented opportunity for the United States to deter Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and increase stability in the Middle East.  It is also a far better option than the realistic alternatives. The deal will not only reduce the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran but also of possible military conflict.” [7/14]

Kouhyar Goudarzi, Iranian human rights activist- “[‘Why are you supporting the Iranian deal?’] Because I believe it’s in everyone’s interest – Iranian people and the global society. Talking – that’s the point from which all real changes start.” [8/27]

Philip Gordon, Council on Foreign Relations- “A bipartisan group of experts and distinguished former U.S. officials, including some of my former colleagues from the administration’s Iran team, put forward a similar list. It will be interesting to see whether the signatories of the Washington Institute letter conclude the outcome in Vienna meets the necessary bar. On balance I think it does.” [7/15]

Philip Gordon, Council on Foreign Relations- “No deal is perfect, including this one. But by rejecting it—especially now that it’s been agreed to by other world powers and supported by just about every country in the world—Congress would isolate the United States and leave Iran free to resume all its nuclear activities tomorrow.” [9/7]

Lisbeth Gronlund, Union of Concerned Scientists- “The agreement puts strong, verifiable restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, and the U.S. Congress should endorse it.” [8/5]

Richard Gunther and Luis Lainer, Americans for Peace Now- “We’ve been told that an Iran with nuclear weapons would pose not only a grave threat to Israel, but an imminent threat to Israel’s existence. For this reason, for more than a decade we’ve been pressing U.S. presidents and Congress to take action to address this threat.  The Iran nuclear agreement achieved by the United States and its negotiating partners does just that. As American Jews who are deeply connected to and supportive of Israel, we support this deal, and urge our community leaders and elected officials to do the same.” [7/29]

Efraim Halevy, Fmr. head of the Mossad- “Without an agreement, Iran will be free to do as it pleases, while the sanctions regime will anyway crumble, as many of the world’s countries will rush to Tehran to sign profitable contracts. Iran made concessions in a series of critical matters. A moment before we storm Capitol Hill, led by the Israeli ambassador to Washington, it’s important to hold a profound debate in Israel on whether no agreement is preferable to an agreement which includes components that are crucial for Israel’s security. There will be no other agreement and no other negotiations. What is better, a signed agreement or no agreement?” [7/20]

Efraim Halevy, Fmr. head of the Mossad- “I think the United States scored a great success in creating this international coalition to face down the nuclear threat. This is not a perfect agreement, but when you negotiate, you win some and you lose some.” [7/31]

Philip Hammond, U.K. Foreign Secretary- “After more than a decade of tough negotiations we have reached an historic agreement that will impose strict limits and inspections on Iran’s nuclear programme. Having reached this important agreement, our focus will now be on its swift and full implementation to make sure that a nuclear weapon remains beyond Iran’s reach. We hope, and expect, that this agreement will herald a step-change in Iran’s relations with its neighbours and with the international community.” [7/14]

Philip Hammond, U.K. Foreign Secretary- “We wouldn’t have agreed to the deal unless we were sure that it had robust measures in place to deliver effective oversight on Iran’s nuclear program. This is the best and maybe to only way to build the trust that will allow a dialogue on the many other issues we have in Iran” [7/16]

William Hartung, Center for International Policy- “The historic Iran nuclear deal is a positive development in its own right. This is a huge step away from the ill-considered calls for military action against Iran that have emanated from U.S. neoconservatives. It’s good for America, good for Iran, and good for the region.” [7/14]

Nader Hashemi, Center for Middle East Studies- “The agreement is good for the Iranian people. The easing of sanctions will benefit the Iranian middle class and civil society, which comprises the core support base for Iran’s pro-democracy movement. a more nuanced perspective is needed. And that means realizing that this nuclear deal represents a historic defeat for Iranian foreign policy — and that it potentially opens the door for the revival of Iran’s pro-democracy movement. A more nuanced perspective is needed. And that means realizing that this nuclear deal represents a historic defeat for Iranian foreign policy — and that it potentially opens the door for the revival of Iran’s pro-democracy movement.” [7/17]

Laicie Heeley, Stimson- “The U.S. and its international partners have delivered a strong deal. Under this deal, the American people and the populations of our closest allies will be safer and more secure, since Iran’s nuclear program will remain verifiably constrained. Congress should look favorably upon this agreement, which has achieved the aims it set out to obtain, and more.” [7/14]

Ariela Ringel Hoffman- “It turns out that there are a number of Israeli experts who think otherwise and who are also willing to say so. They are aware of the weak points of the agreement, the negative developments that it enables, but on the other hand, they point out the advantages of the new situation that has been created and the potential for positive change.” [7/17]

Francois Hollande, President of France- “It’s a very important deal that was signed overnight, the world is making headway.” [7/14]

Fmr. Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY)- “I respectfully urge members of Congress to vote for the Iran nuclear agreement…This is the best way to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranian government and avoid another costly and tragic war in the Middle East.” [8/31]

Jacques E. C. Hymans, University of Southern California- “The JCPOA is an appropriate response to this non-crisis situation. The most important achievement is the creation of a common front among the P5+1 and the explicit legal and diplomatic structures for identifying and dealing with any future Iranian noncompliance. The JCPOA also opens a door for the United States and Iran to try to build a more productive relationship at both the governmental and societal levels. Befriending Iran’s scientific community would be particularly valuable. The more we get to know the Iranians, the less we will fear them.” [9/7]

Meir Javedanfar, Israeli expert on Iran- “If Iran really wants a weapon, with Obama’s agreement we will have a one year waiting period for Iran to actually make one, if it decides to make one.  OK – with this deal, it will be one year breakout period.  With what Netanyahu is suggesting, which is the continuation of the current tensions with Iran until Iran completely capitulates…Iran would only need two months to make a nuclear weapon. So, what do we want to choose? A two-months warning period for Iran to make a weapon or one year?  We want one year. And this is the situation.  Nobody is trusting Iran, the Iranian regime. It’s not about trust – it’s about mistrust and verify.” [7/16]

Adel al-Jubeir, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia- “We are currently in talks with the American government regarding these details, but it (the deal) generally seems to have achieved these objectives.” [7/23]

David Kay, nuclear nonproliferation and inspections expert- “This deal can be made to work. At a minimum, it will substantially increase the time it would take Iran to develop and deploy nuclear weapons and the warning time the United States would have if Iran were to move forward to gain nuclear weapons during the next fifteen years.” [9/1]

Scott Kemp, Professor at MIT and Fmr. Advisor at the U.S. State Department- “While the Iran deal is imperfect, it is also full of opportunity. The technical provisions of the agreement constrain the nuclear program to such an extent that Iran could not plausibly use it to make a nuclear weapon at any time during the next decade without being stopped by the international community. This is an important outcome.” [7/24]

John Kerry, Secretary of State- “The fact is that the agreement we’ve reached, fully implemented, will bring insight and accountability to Iran’s nuclear program – not for a small number of years but for the lifetime of that program. This is the good deal that we have sought. I will tell you, sanctioning Iran until it capitulates makes for a powerful talking point and a pretty good political speech, but it’s not achievable outside a world of fantasy. The true measure of this agreement is not whether it meets all of the desires of one side at the expense of the other; the test is whether or not it will leave the world safer and more secure than it would be without it. There can be no question that this agreement will provide a stronger, more comprehensive, and more lasting means of limiting Iran’s nuclear program than any realistic alternative. I learned in war the price that is paid when diplomacy fails. I believe this agreement actually represents an effort to avert an inevitability of conflict that would come were we not able to reach agreement.  I think that’s what diplomacy was put in place to achieve.” [7/14]

John Kerry, Secretary of State- “[If Congress failed to approve the deal], the U.S. will have lost all credibility. We will not be in the hunt. And if we then decided to use military [after a deal fails], do you believe the United Nations will be with us? Do you think our European colleagues will support us? Not on your life.” [7/20]

John Kerry, Secretary of State- “We set out to dismantle their ability to be able to build a nuclear weapon, and we’ve achieved that. The deal we believe will make our country and our allies safer. We believe this is a good deal for the world, a good deal for America, a good deal for our allies and friends in the region, and we think it does deserve your support.” [7/23]

John Kerry, Secretary of State- “I believe, based on a lifetime’s experience, that the Iran nuclear agreement is a hugely positive step at a time when problem solving and danger reduction have rarely been so urgent, especially in the Middle East.” [9/2]

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General- “I warmly welcome the historic agreement in Vienna today and congratulate the P5+1 and Iran for reaching this agreement. This is testament to the value of dialogue. 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. The United Nations stands ready to fully cooperate with the parties in the process of implementing this historic and important agreement.” [7/14/15]

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association- “[The JPOCA is] a very strong, very comprehensive nonproliferation agreement. It puts in place a more stringent and intrusive verification regime that gives the International Atomic Energy Agency the tools necessary to monitor compliance and detect covert nuclear activity for decades to come. If Iran tries to cheat, it will be promptly detected, and we can respond to disrupt any such effort.” [8/16]

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association- “The choice should be clear. The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a very strong, very thorough nonproliferation agreement that will reverse Iran’s progress and stop it well short of nuclear weapons for a generation or more. Rejection of the agreement would transform a historic diplomatic breakthrough into a geostrategic disaster.” [9/1]

Richard Kirsch, USAction- “Graham and the rest of the hawks should know better. After all, they pushed us into the disastrous war in Iraq, proclaiming that it was the only way to get rid of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. For once, instead of pouring more gasoline on conflicts, the agreement with Iran to derail their nuclear weapons program is a stellar example of fire prevention. The agreement blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons. The breakout time
 to develop enough material for one bomb will be four times longer with a deal than without one.” [7/24]

Col. Richard Klass, USAF (Ret.)- “If that agreement is rejected by Congress, not only will the sanctions regime be seriously jeopardized, Iran will remain within a few months of amassing enough fissile material to build a bomb, should it decide to do so.” [6/30]

Joe Klein, TIME- “Yes, the Iran deal is risky. But we have been taking all sorts of bellicose risks since Sept. 11, 2001. Almost all of our military ventures have failed. So many lives have been lost. It’s time, finally, to take a risk for peace.” [7/14]

Fmr. Rep. Mike Kopetski- “[The JCPOA] is one of the toughest nonproliferation agreements ever negotiated. If implemented, it will enhance the security of the United States and the world. The agreement is even stronger when judged against the alternatives, all of which would be riskier and likely less effective than the current deal.” [9/2]

Michael Krepon, Stimson- “Nothing will weaken America’s standing in the world or exhaust its armed forces and treasury more than fighting a second, unnecessary war in the Middle East to prevent a state from acquiring nuclear weapons. This deal provides an opportunity to prevent worst cases, while being prepared for them. Torpedoing this deal increases the odds of worst cases. It is wishful thinking to expect that a better deal will result from killing this one on Capitol Hill.” [9/2]

Michael Krepon, Stimson- “This agreement significantly reduces Iran’s capacity to build nuclear weapons for ten years or more. It contains effective monitoring provisions. It is far better than any of the alternatives before us. A divide over this agreement, mostly along partisan lines, and repeated attempts to block its implementation will diminish U.S. leadership, destabilize the Middle East, place even greater burdens on U.S. military forces and weaken the U.S. Treasury. Friends and allies of the United States in Europe and the Pacific need to know that they can trust in U.S. executive agreements. Friends in the Middle East need a bipartisan plan to address their concerns about Iran. Congress voted to rid Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Will it now vote against an agreement that verifiably limits Iran’s all-too-real nuclear capabilities?” [7/14]

Michael Krepon, Stimson- “A ‘nay’ vote by Republicans against the Iran deal can have grave consequences even if they cannot override a presidential veto. Division, mostly along party lines, is never cost-free on national security issues. If Republicans block implementation of this agreement, Tehran will be off the hook. The United States and its friends and allies will then face the worst of both worlds: an Iran that is under no obligations to limit its nuclear capabilities and that welcomes foreign investment.” [7/14]

Michael Krepon, Stimson- “The agreement the Obama administration and its negotiating partners have struck with Iran is better than any of the alternatives. Sharp partisan divides on national security issues always weaken U.S. standing and freedom of action, while being welcomed by America’s adversaries. A wiser course for the Congress would be to accept this agreement as far better than the alternatives, and to work with the executive branch to devise a bipartisan plan to curtail Iranian ambitions in the Middle East.” [7/31]

Daoud Kuttab, Palestinian journalist- “The benefits of such a deal outweigh the fear-based perceived risks. This is the first major breakthrough for international diplomacy. This agreement is a victory for the doves of peace and for common sense politics.” [7/17]

Ellen Laipson, President and CEO of Stimson- “Diplomacy – the long and hard slog of it – is one of the victors here. A negotiated agreement to change Iran’s policy and practice on issues with great regional security consequence could set a precedent for problem solving in a region where the resort to force is the default position. To make this agreement a truly lasting contribution to regional peace, all parties will need to support its implementation and Iran in particular could signal to its neighbors that it is willing to address other causes of tension and insecurity.” [7/14]

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister- “[The deal] without a doubt will play an important role in ensuring non-proliferation in general and make the situation in the Middle East healthier.” [7/16]

Hon. Mel Levine, Former Member of Congress, AIPAC Board Member- “The accord is the one path that provides a peaceful means of resolving the major threat of Iran’s achieving a nuclear weapon and will enhance the security of Israel and the world. Without this deal, the risk of war in the Middle East dramatically increases as well as the real risk of nuclear proliferation. I believe my friends in AIPAC and some of my friends in Israel have made a regrettable rush to judgment in immediately opposing the Iran agreement.” [8/2]

Secretary of the Treasury, Jacob Lew- “Those calling on Congress to scrap the deal argue that the United States could have gotten a better deal, and still could, if we unilaterally ramped up existing sanctions, enough to force Iran to dismantle its entire nuclear program or even alter the character of its regime wholesale. This assumption is a dangerous fantasy, flying in the face of economic and diplomatic reality.” [8/13]

Jeffrey Lewis, Center for Nonproliferation Studies- “It would seem that the agreement is as good or better in all important respects than what officials described in the spring. This is a pretty damned good deal.” [7/14]

Jeffrey Lewis, Center for Nonproliferation Studies- “This deal might not be ideal, or as good as the one we could have achieved a decade ago, but compared with the invasion of Iraq, a nuclear-armed Iran, or even a deal we might be able to negotiate a few years down the road, it is incredibly strong.” [7/19]

Rev. Jim Lewis, West Virginia Patriots for Peace- “The chaos unleashed by our nation’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 now demands a shuffling of the deck in the Middle East. A new game must be played, and Iran must be at the table. The Iran Nuclear Agreement is the invitation for Iran to join the game.” [8/28]

James M. Lindsay, Council on Foreign Relations- “If the United States walks away from the JCPOA, the result won’t be a better deal but a collapse of the sanctions effort and no deal at all. Meanwhile, military options will become no more appealing—or less risky.” [9/7]

Justin Logan, CATO- “The agreement must be viewed as a clear success.” [7/14]

Former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)- “Sticking with our international partners in a unified and systematic effort to ensure Iran’s compliance with this agreement is the best opportunity we have to block an Iranian nuclear weapon, while avoiding a costly war and preventing additional countries in the region from seeking a nuclear arsenal.” [8/31]

Former Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sam Nunn (D-GA)- “Our own conviction is that this agreement represents our best chance to stop an Iranian bomb without another war in the Middle East.” [8/30]

Former Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA)– Rejection of the agreement would severely undermine the U.S. role as a leader and reliable partner around the globe. If Washington walks away from this hard-fought multilateral agreement, its dependability would likely be doubted for decades. Rejection would also destroy the effective coalition that brought Iran to the negotiating table. Congress can either accept or reject [the deal] by overriding an expected presidential veto — thereby taking sole and exclusive responsibility for the grave consequences for U.S. national security that would certainly follow.” [8/13]

Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollahs’ Democracy- “A deal painstakingly concluded after almost two years of intensive negotiations is the very best deal that either side could make, or hope for. Congress should trust the U.S. officials who were charged with making it that this deal is crucial to reducing tensions in the Middle East, and that there is no alternative short of a more advanced Iranian nuclear program, or military action to stop it.” [9/7]

Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action- “The international agreement with Iran keeps it from a nuclear weapon for a decade at least. There is no better agreement to be reached. The alternatives would fail and their price is unacceptably high. While it’s not a perfect path, it is the only path Congress should support publicly and vote to approve.” [7/16]

John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago- “Given that diplomacy involves give and take on both sides, this is an excellent deal. That is especially true when one considers the consequences of rejecting it. This deal is an important step forward in improving U.S.-Iranian relations, which is in America’s national interest.” [9/7]

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick- “I applaud the fact that a major issue of dispute in this very volatile region was resolved through negotiation and not armed conflict.” [7/16]

Shemuel Meir, Fmr. IDF analyst- “The Vienna deal prevents the introduction of a new nuclear power in the Middle East, halts the nuclear arms race and saves Israel from using military force on Iran.” [7/22]

Christopher K. Mellon, fmr. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence- “Those who most vociferously oppose the agreement, including Mr. Netanyahu, are the same crowd who in 2002 falsely claimed Iraq was a threat and that a war with it would be quick, easy and cheap. In all probability another costly and destabilizing U.S. war in the Middle East would spread more terrorism and chaos while driving the Iranian nuclear program underground and strengthening isolationism at home.” [8/30]

Mohsen Milani, University of South Florida- “The [JCPOA] is a risk worth taking, considering how unattractive the other alternatives are. Indeed, although the United States and Iran did not get everything they wanted in the negotiations, the agreement is the best they could possibly attain at this juncture. It is a ‘win-win’ for both countries, and a triumph of diplomacy and hope over war and cynicism.” [7/15]

Mohsen Milani, University of South Florida- “The JCPOA is a win-win deal for the United States and Iran, and a victory for diplomacy. It is not a perfect deal, but it is infinitely better than the alternatives.” [9/7]

Aaron David Miller, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars- “There’s no question the Obama administration got what it wanted out of this deal: a slower, smaller Iranian nuclear program more easily monitored and constrained for at least a decade. No chance now of a pre-emptive Israeli strike, and no need for an American one. For now, a putative nuclear crisis has been defused and kicked down the road.” [7/14]

Hon. George Mitchell, Fmr. US Senate Majority Leader- “There are two ways to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon: through negotiation or by war. It is plain common sense to try negotiation first. This agreement… has the strong support of most of the nations of the world. Its rejection by Congress would be adverse to our national security. Its approval will be in our national interest and will be crucial to limiting the spread of nuclear weapons.” [8/5]

Hon. George Mitchell, Fmr. US Senate Majority Leader (D-ME)- “The nuclear agreement with Iran, reached by the United States, China, Russia, Britain, Germany and France, is a significant diplomatic achievement…It not only enhances U.S. and international security by preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, but it also reestablishes the American tradition of leading the world in seeking diplomatic resolutions to international disputes.” [8/31]

Amram Mitzna, Fmr. member Knesset, Fmr. mayor of Haifa and Yeruham, Ret. Major-General in the Israel Defense Forces- “This agreement is better than no agreement and must not be rejected. If implemented, it will block all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, and extend the time Iran would need to build a bomb from only two months to more than a year. If the critics have a serious alternative, they should say so. I see only destructive alternatives, and so simply listing this agreement’s deficiencies is not enough. There is no other, better deal, and those who claim that there is, are fooling themselves. If this agreement is fully implemented, I believe that Israel will be significantly safer than it is today. On the other hand, rejection of the deal would be very, very bad for all of us. For Israel’s sake and all the people of the Middle East, we must not miss this opportunity.” [7/30]

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative and Javad Zarif, Iranian Foreign Minister- “What we are announcing today is not only a deal but a good deal. And a good deal for all sides – and the wider international community. We call on the world community to support the implementation of this historic effort.” [7/24]

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative- “We agreed on a deal that is not based on trust, but on precise commitments, on transparency and verification. It is a deal made to withstand the challenge of time; a good deal, with no space for interpretations or doubts. A deal that, while implemented, will allow us to build trust and lay the foundations for a new relationship. The whole Middle East is in turmoil. We need to restart political processes to end wars.” [7/28]

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy- “We are better off forever in terms of Iranian nuclear activity under this agreement than we would be without it. What we have done is we have dramatically limited and constrained the program. We are very confident in our ability to detect the vestiges of any nuclear work beyond 24 days.” [7/19]

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy- “The JCPOA prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, provides strong verification measures that give us ample time to respond if Iran chose to violate its terms, and takes none of our options off the table. This deal is based on science and analysis. I am confident that this is a good deal for America, for our allies, and for our global security.” [7/23]

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy- “The deal provides an agreement between the great powers and Iran that Iran will never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon, in turn providing a basis for an overwhelming response should it ever attempt to do so. The unity of purpose by the signatories — China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States — is unprecedented. Most important, we got the science right. I spent 40 years as a nuclear physicist faculty member at MIT and much of this year negotiating with Iran’s nuclear experts. And I drew on exhaustive technical analysis by our leading nuclear experts at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories and nuclear sites. This deal moves them back from that threshold for a considerable period and raises our verification capabilities forever.” [7/30]

Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy- “The JCPOA is not built on trust and accomplishes the key Iranian nuclear weapon threat reduction that drove the international community to sanction Iran and to negotiate and support the deal. As stated in the scientists’ letter to the President, the JCPOA has ‘much more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated nonproliferation framework.’ It deserves broad American support and endorsement.” [8/31]

Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Princeton University- “Congress’s overriding the deal would surely lead to radicalism once again at the expense of pragmatism in Iran. Moreover, the nuclear deal has the potential for far-reaching positive implications for the volatile Middle East region and for Iran’s relations with the West.” [8/28]

Joseph R. Murray II, civil rights attorney and conservative commentator- “The poster children of the GOP are not attacking the fine points of the deal. Instead, they are attacking the very decision to make a deal. With trillions of dollars spent blowing up and rebuilding the Middle East and thousands of U.S. lives lost, Republican hawks refuse to abandon a neo-conservatism that confuses Israeli national interest with U.S. national interest and propels America into unnecessary wars that are none of her concern. While we will support with our friends, we cannot let their politics impede our progress.” [7/17]

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy- “It’s hard to see a plausible path for Republicans to block the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions. This is why it’s so urgent for Americans who want to see more peace and diplomacy and less war in our future, who want rebuilding America rather than pursuing foreign empire to be our national priority, who don’t want to repeat the experience of the 2003 Iraq invasion over and over again for the rest of our lives, to speak up for the Iran deal now.” [7/15]

Vipin Narang, Professor at MIT- “The Iran nuclear deal effectively shuts Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons while preserving its legal right to civilian nuclear energy. The deal substantially lengthens the time Iran would need to enrich enough uranium for nuclear weapons. My view is that this nuclear deal with Iran is about as good as it gets in nonproliferation policy.” [7/24]

Richard Nephew, Brookings- “The deal negotiated by the P5+1 will create a one year or longer breakout timeline for Iran’s declared nuclear program for the first ten years of the implementation phase of the deal. We are far better off with the deal than without it.” [7/17]

Richard Nephew, Brookings- “The [JCPOA] is a material improvement over the status quo across the board, offering at worst an improved opportunity to detect [covert nuclear] activities. In doing so, the agreement will deter Iranian cheating and make succeeding at it a virtually impossible task.” [9/2]

Sam Nunn, Fmr. Georgia Senator- “One of the goals of this set of discussions and agreement is to stretch that time so that they could not achieve a real weapon within that period of time, but to go to a year, at least. Sometimes we get so involved in the details, we lose sight of what we’re really trying to achieve, and what we’re really trying to achieve is basically preventing the Iranians from getting a bomb. I think when you read all of it, not withstanding, it’s far from a perfect document, it’s pretty clear that the answer to that is, it’s going to be a lot harder for the Iranians to get a nuclear bomb over the next 10 or 15 years.” [7/24]

President Barack Obama- “This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change. Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems. Hard-nosed diplomacy. Leadership that has united the world’s major powers, offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon.” [7/14]

President Barack Obama- “You should have some alternative to present. And I haven’t heard that. And the reason is because there really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are the options. Now you’ll hear some critics say, ‘We could have negotiated a better deal.’ Well Ok, what does that mean?” [7/15]

President Barack Obama- “It’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure this deal holds.  Because without this deal, there would be no limits on Iran’s nuclear program. There would be no monitoring, no inspections. The sanctions we rallied the world to impose would unravel.  Iran could move closer to a nuclear weapon. Other countries in the region might race to do the same.  And we’d risk another war in the most volatile region in the world. That’s what would happen without this deal.” [7/18]

President Barack Obama- “”In the debate over this deal, we’re hearing the echoes of some of the same policies and mindset that failed us in the past. Some of the same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq, and said it would take a few months. And we know the consequences of that choice and what it cost us in blood and treasure. I believe there’s a smarter, more responsible way. We’ve done the hard and patient work [of diplomacy] instead of chest-beating which rejects the idea of even talking to our adversaries.” [7/21]

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Professor at the University of Notre Dame- “The Iran nuclear deal is a good one for all concerned. The Middle East needs this new deal. It is the only lawful way to stop proliferation.” [7/14]

Nate Olson, Stimson- “Delivering on one of the deal’s most important commitments will depend on a party that was never at the negotiating table. Behind closed doors, firms mulling major engagements in Iran have repeatedly stressed one thing: They need to see greater clarity in the international regulatory environment toward Tehran. But given the urgency to shore up this hard-won pact, searching for the perfect institutional formula is not an option. With the drama of reaching the nuclear deal soon to give way, officials should avail themselves of every opportunity to sit down at a different negotiating table — with industry leaders and independent experts — and set about this work together.” [7/14]

Dr. Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council- “No other option comes even close to this deal when it comes to closing off all of Iran’s paths to a bomb. Military action in particular is far inferior — and far more risky. The deal will prevent a war with Iran.” [6/30]

Colin Powell, fmr. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State: “My judgment…is that [the JCPOA]’s a pretty good deal.” [9/6]

Bishop Richard E. Pates, Des Moines Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church- “Happily, six major nations have chosen the path of dialogue to resolve the serious questions about Iran’s nuclear program. It has indeed taken time, as well as patience and perseverance. To build peace requires painstaking work. Dialogue is not easy. Building trust through rigorous verification measures is even more difficult. Yet the alternative of armed conflict is morally unacceptable. Armed force is not just another alternative; it must be a reluctant last resort. First and always, we must try to resolve differences peacefully. In the process, we build peace.” [7/16]

Chris Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University- “Let us give praise where it is richly deserved. Despite all the criticism they faced, US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, stuck doggedly to the task of negotiating a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program. Together with representatives of the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany, they have now succeeded. This is a significant moment in the nuclear age. As it is, not only will an agreement add cement to the NPT; it could also open the way to the sort of understanding with Iran that is essential to any broad diplomatic moves to control and halt the violence sweeping across western Asia.” [7/16]

Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity- “This move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements. The agreement has reduced the chance of a US attack on Iran, which is a great development. There is much to cheer in the agreement. Peace and prosperity arise from friendly relations and trade.” [7/20]

Hank Paulson, former Secretary of the Treasury- “It’s somewhere in between naive and unrealistic to assume that after we’ve, the United States of America, has negotiated something like this with the five other, you know, parties and with the whole world community watching, that we could back away from that – and that the others would go with us, or even that our allies would go with us.” [8/14]

Paul Pillar, CIA veteran- “If the current debate were being conducted solely on the merits of the agreement, the outcome would be almost a no-brainer; the agreement is obviously much better than the alternative of killing the agreement.” [7/25]

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.- “[The deal gives Iran] an opportunity to prove to the world that it intends to pursue a nuclear program solely for peaceful purposes. If Iran seizes that opportunity … then it will find the international community and the United States willing to provide a path out of isolation and toward greater engagement.” [7/20]

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.- “I believe that rejecting this deal would significantly weaken our ability to achieve our broader foreign policy goals.” [8/26]

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia- “We are satisfied that the solution found is based on the principle of phasing and mutuality, which our country has been consistently supporting at every stage of these complicated negotiations.” [7/14]

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, speaking for the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council- “This was the best option among other options — to come up with a solution . . . through dialogue. We are confident that all the efforts that have been exerted make this region very secure, very stable.” [8/3]

Jon Rainwater, Peace Action West- “The agreement truly represents the biggest diplomatic achievement of the millennium thus far. The agreement puts us firmly on the path of peace — as long as the agreement is not torpedoed by action in Congress. Today’s deal is a prism through which light will finally shine on viable, peaceful alternatives to war. If Congress lets it see the light of day, this prism has the potential to usher in a new era of American foreign policy governed by good will and reason, rather than fear and force of habit.” [7/14]

Negar Razavi, PS21 Global Fellow- “When Americans question why Iran will continue to comply with this deal, we think of the 18 million people who elected President Rouhani largely on the promise of getting this deal done and ending Iran’s global isolation. We will show them how videos of the millions dancing and celebrating the deal on the streets serve as reminders to Iran’s leaders that they must answer to their people moving forward.” [7/20]

Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association- “Overall, it’s a very strong and good deal, but it wasn’t negotiations that resulted in a score of 100-0 for the US. That’s not how international negotiations go. The monitoring and verification regime in this deal is the most comprehensive and intrusive regime that has ever been negotiated.” [7/18]

Susan Rice, National Security Advisor- “We have complete ability on our own to go into the Security Council with evidence of a violation after a process and snap those sanctions back into place. [The verification time] is more than an adequate time and we shouldn’t be worried.” [7/15]

John Rodriguez, military veteran and fellow at the Center for National Policy- “I support the deal to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon through tough, principled diplomacy. If we have the opportunity to stop a threat to the United States without using military force, we should take it.” [8/26]

Joel Rubin, Washington Strategy Group- “Secretary of State John Kerry and a team of skilled negotiators achieved a national security miracle: a diplomatic deal that blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. One has to question how serious the members will be about objectively reviewing the deal at hand. There is no alternative to this deal.  This is it.  The American people deserve a serious debate.” [7/29]

Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute- “The Iran deal is a historic breakthrough of the first order. Great success of the P5+1 diplomacy & of Pres. Obama facing down the neocons.” [7/14]

Bill Scher, Campaign for America’s Future- “Republicans in Congress may want to stop the international nuclear deal with Iran. They may prefer to provoke a war with Iran than break bread. [The Republican Party] is no position to stop a deal, or start a war.” [7/14]

Mark Schneider, International Crisis Group- “There is a reason that the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China signed on to JCPOA. It is the only and best way to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb for at least 15 years—without war.” [8/4]

Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser- “[The JPOCA] meets the key objective, shared by recent administrations of both parties, that Iran limit itself to a strictly civilian nuclear program with unprecedented verification and monitoring by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and the UN Security Council.” [8/14]

Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network- “It’s quite simple really, voting against the Iran deal would virtually guarantee that we go to war yet again. Because we — Blacks and Latinos — are often on the front lines of battle, we do not want another senseless war. Perhaps it’s time our Senators and members of Congress listen to us and not the lobbyists.” [8/17]

Joe Sestak, Fmr. Navy Admiral and Congressman- “Congress now must give this agreement a serious look. It should support the agreement – and then work with the administration to ensure that Iran lives up to its promise and, if not, is held to account.” [7/22]

Jacqueline Shire, Fmr. member of the U.N. Panel of Experts on Iran- “This deal keeps Iran’s nuclear program confined, monitored from every angle, with narrow maneuvering room. It also provides a path for Iran to engage constructively with the world, more necessary now than ever before.” [7/14]

Javier Solana, Fmr. Secretary General of NATO- “The successful outcome of the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program provides a splendid validation for those who put their faith in diplomacy. The agreement – concluded after more than a decade of talks – highlights the value of persistence in addressing impasses that seem insurmountable, and provides hope for the many other initiatives that will be needed to bring lasting peace to the Middle East. The historic agreement with Iran is just one of many that will be required to bring peace and stability to the Middle East. The first hurdle has been overcome. We must now run the rest of the race.” [7/17]

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO- “This agreement represents a historic breakthrough which, once fully implemented, will strengthen international security.” [7/14]

Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress- “I’m looking forward to those who attack this deal… to spell out their alternative. Easy to criticize. Hard to lead/govern.” [7/14]

Gael Tarleton, State Representative for WA and former defense intelligence analyst- “The Iran deal is the world’s best chance to prevent a new nuclear state in this turbulent region. Instead of reliving the past when we negotiated nuclear treaties only after states had built their bomb, the international community has opened a door to monitor Iran’s nuclear program before it becomes a deadly nuclear threat.” [8/25]

Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association- “The United States and its five negotiating partners have just extracted from Tehran what many thought was impossible — a comprehensive and verifiable deal that effectively closes off Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons for many years. It is now time for the U.S. Congress to make sure the deal can be implemented. To prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and to protect the security of the United States and of our allies in the region, Iowa’s senators and representatives in Congress should embrace the chance to vote ‘yes.’” [7/14]

John Tirman, Center for International Studies at MIT- “The Iran nuclear accord has three legacies. The first is limiting Iran’s enrichment capacity. The second is bolstering moderates in Iran. The third is changing Iran’s relationship with the United States. The most immediate beneficiaries are none of the powers at the table in Vienna, but the brutalized peoples of the Middle East.” [7/24]

Sidney Topol, Americans for Peace Now– “A thoughtful, dispassionate consideration of the agreement leads to the clear conclusion that it’s good for both the U.S. and for Israel.” [8/13]

Alex Vatanka, Middle East Institute- “The Iranian public is very optimistic and hopeful that the painful economic sanctions will soon begin to be rolled back. The United States, for its part, has succeeded in finding a diplomatic path forward.” [7/14]

Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners- “We have a deal. And many of us in the faith community are relieved. Many of us in the faith community have called for diplomacy instead of the only plausible alternative: war with Iran. Other options simply aren’t possible. Theologically, pursuing options that will prevent further war with more dangerous weapons is the right course of action in a highly imperfect world. Giving serious diplomacy and international pressure a chance before contemplating military action is both a better strategic option and a more Christian one.” [7/14]

Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners- “We must start with the question, ‘What can we best do to make peace?’ After a careful review of the agreement, I believe that supporting the agreement and praying for its success is the best we can do to make peace.” [8/27]

Dr. Jim Walsh, MIT- “I think it’s a good deal. It reduces Iran’s uranium by 98% and cuts their centrifuges by two-thirds. There are so many details in this that it is easy for critics to cherry-pick. If you want evaluate something, you need to stand back and ask yourself two questions: how does it compare to other nonproliferation agreements we’ve had that have been successful? And how does it compare to the alternatives? This agreement is the strongest, multilateral agreement on nonproliferation that we’ve ever negotiated. I think it’s a big win.” [7/19]

Dr. Jim Walsh, MIT- “I’ve read all 159 pages of the deal, and I think it is arguably the most robust, intrusive, multilateral nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated. If Congress unilaterally kills this deal and therefore lets Iran off scot-free, it’s going to be hard to maintain any sanctions, and our ability to influence Iranian nuclear behavior dramatically plummets.” [7/24]

Stephen Walt, Harvard University – “The [JPOCA] deal is in America’s national interest and clearly superior to the available alternatives. Iran is cutting its enrichment capacity by more than two-thirds, getting rid of all but a miniscule fraction of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and has agreed to an unprecedented degree of inspections and monitoring going forward. In theory, Iran could try to cheat in various small ways, but it couldn’t do enough to get it across the nuclear weapons threshold without being caught well in advance of weaponization.” [8/3]

Stephen Walt, Harvard University- “The fact that the neoconservatives, AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents, and other groups in the Israel lobby were wrong about the Iraq War does not by itself mean that they are necessarily wrong about the Iran deal. But when you examine their basic views on world politics and their consistent approach to U.S. Middle East policy, it becomes clear this is not a coincidence at all. Support for the Iraq War and opposition to the Iran deal flow from the same flawed premises, and that’s why following their advice today would be as foolish as it was back in 2003.” [8/21]

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Kate Gould, Friends Committee on National Legislation- “This deal makes the U.S. and the world a safer place. Voting for the deal means not only ensuring one of the greatest diplomatic achievements of our time, but finally beginning to cease the endless cycle of U.S. military misadventures in Southwest Asia.” [7/14]

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson- “There are potentially deadly repercussions of a U.S. rejection of this agreement. Rejection means the U.S. is alone. No one else, not even Britain, will follow us. We will be acting entirely unilaterally, without friends or allies (with the exception of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). And those who claim that we can simply return to sanctions are hopelessly blind to reality. No one will be with us – absolutely no one.” [8/20]

Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches- “The Iran nuclear deal shows us that complicated international disagreements can be resolved peacefully and without resorting to war.” [8/27]

Matthew Yglesias, journalist- “The most prominent arguments against the deal aren’t really arguments at all. The people making them don’t like the deal, because they don’t like Iran and because the deal has some upside for Iran. But hawks don’t want to come out and say they oppose diplomacy in all forms and just want a war.” [7/16]

Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency- “There is a dialogue of the deaf. The agreement is not bad at all, and even good for Israel. The US leader said that the agreement removes the threat of nuclear decade or two, and he is right. In terms of the narrow nuclear issue, he removes the danger for a long time and is driven by 15 years of a nuclear bomb. And it’s not bad at all.” [7/15]

Fareed Zakaria, The Washington Post- “Obama’s critics say he is gambling that Iran will comply with the accord. In fact, the administration is making a calculated bet that Iran will be constrained by international pressure, intrusive inspections, verification mechanisms and the prospect of snapback sanctions. The deal’s opponents have conjured up a fantasy scenario.” [7/23]

Julian Zelizer, Princeton University- “The time has come for Congress to put its stamp of approval on this deal, making it clear to the Iranians that the full force of American political opinion is behind what the President has helped to craft. Congress has an opportunity to put us on a different path toward international stability and security than the one adopted, disastrously, in 2003 with the Iraq war.” [9/1]

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