Military Leaders Support the Iran Deal


“On July 14, 2015, after two years of intense international negotiations, an agreement was announced by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia to contain Iran’s nuclear program. We, the undersigned retired military officers, support the agreement as the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons…”

“There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is fully implemented. If the Iranians cheat, our advanced technology, intelligence and the inspections will reveal it, and U.S. military options remain on the table. And if the deal is rejected by America, the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark.” [8/11/15]

General James “Hoss” Cartwright, U.S. Marine Corps

General Joseph P. Hoar, U.S. Marine Corps

General Merrill “Tony” McPeak, U.S. Air Force retired

General Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton, U.S. Air Force retired

Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr., U.S. Army retired

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, U.S. Air Force retired

Lieutenant General Frank Kearney, U.S. Army retired

Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, U.S. Army retired

Lieutenant General Donald L. Kerrick, U.S. Army retired

Lieutenant General Charles P. Otstott, U.S. Army retired

Lieutenant General Norman R. Seip, U.S. Air Force retired

Lieutenant General James M. Thompson, U.S. Army retired

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, U.S. Navy retired

Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, U.S. Navy retired

Major General George Buskirk, US Army retired

Major General Paul D. Eaton, U.S. Army retired

Major General Marcelite J. Harris, U.S. Air Force retired

Major General Frederick H. Lawson, U.S. Army retired

Major General William L. Nash, U.S. Army retired

Major General Tony Taguba, U.S. Army retired

Rear Admiral John Hutson, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Malcolm MacKinnon III, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Edward “Sonny” Masso, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Joseph Sestak, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Garland “Gar” P. Wright, U.S. Navy retired

Brigadier General John Adams, U.S. Air Force retired

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, U.S. Marine Corps

Brigadier General Patricia “Pat” Foote, U.S. Army

Brigadier General Lawrence E. Gillespie, U.S. Army

Brigadier General John Johns, U.S. Army retired

Brigadier General David McGinnis, U.S. Army retired

Brigadier General Stephen Xenakis, U.S. Army retired

Rear Admiral James Arden “Jamie” Barnett, Jr., U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson, U.S. Navy retired

Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, U.S. Coast Guard retired

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), U.S. Marine Corps – “I share the concerns with the Israel, and we have to reaffirm our partnership with them. But I am reconfirmed that this deal is the best option we have on the table, right now, today to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

On “Veterans against the Iran deal” group, “I respect their service and he’s obviously made incredible sacrifices.  I too have friends and colleagues who were killed by Iranian weapons.  What I would say to him, is what would you do as an alternative?  This deal is not about trusting Iran, I don’t think we should ever trust Iran. This deal is about verification.” [8/11/15]

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – “Relieving the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran diplomatically is superior than trying to do that militarily.” [7/29/15]

Admiral Cecil E.D. Haney, U.S. Navy – “Clearly as the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, I do not want to see a nuclear Iran, and I think this piece going forward is very important to the future of the region as the world.” [7/29/15]

Petty Officer First Class Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy (fmr.)  – “We set out to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon, and we did it. That’s diplomacy at work — after all, the only successful action to have frozen and rolled back an Iranian nuclear program has been not heckling from rogue members of Congress but rather these tough and principled negotiations… All things considered, we got a damn good deal here, and I want our Congress to take the win.” [7/28/15]

Captain Welton Chang, U.S. Army (fmr.) – “Backing the Iran deal is the sensible option that gets us going down the right road and empowers a verification and monitoring regime that, enforced properly, can work. Members of Congress have the opportunity to make this right choice in the coming weeks by voting in support of the agreement. The time is now to set a watchdog on the Iranian nuclear program.” [7/27/15]

Company Commander Paul Worley, U.S. Army (fmr.) – “After serving two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army infantry captain, I know that we need both a strong military and tough diplomatic solutions to confront 21st-century adversaries like Iran… After more than a decade of war in the Middle East, it is refreshing and uplifting to see that hard-nosed American diplomacy can be effective. Strong, pragmatic American leadership, the finest military force in the world and, most importantly, tough diplomacy have led us to this position, and now it is up to our elected leaders in Washington to approve it.” [7/21/15]

“We believe without this agreement, the risks to the security of the U.S. and its friends would be far greater. We have also not heard any viable alternatives from those who oppose the implementation of the [deal]… A rejection of the agreement could leave the U.S. with the only alternative of having to use military force unilaterally in the future.” -Iran Project Letter, [7/20/15]

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, U.S. Marine Corps

Lieutenant General Frank Kearney, U.S. Army retired

Admiral Eric Olson, U.S. Navy and Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command retired

Secretary William Perry, U.S. Secretary of Defense & US Army Reserves

Assistant Secretary Joseph Nye, Assistant Secretary of Defense and Chairman National Intelligence Council

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, U.S. Navy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs retired

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State

Captain Michael Breen, U.S. Army  (fmr.) – “This generation of combat veterans, frontline civilians, and policy leaders knows all too well the sacrifice required when diplomacy fails. Many of us, myself included, have spent our adult lives attempting to redeem the aftermath of a deeply unnecessary war in the Middle East, launched in the name of nonproliferation. This time, through tough American-led diplomacy, we have charted a better, smarter course.” [7/15/15]

“By walking away from negotiations without exhausting all diplomatic options first, we would be left with only two options: allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, or going to war to try to stop them from doing so. The first option is absolutely unacceptable. The second should be only one of last resort. War should never be initiated lightly, especially given the enormous human, political and fiscal costs such a conflict would incur.”

“As veterans who served through a decade-long war in the Middle East with little to show for the sacrifices of our fellow service members and the nation, we urge the entire Virginia congressional delegation to support continued negotiations. Only after all tough diplomatic options have been exhausted should we consider the use of force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” [7/15/15]

Lt. Colonel Butch Bracknell, U.S. Marine Corps

Major Adam Tiffen, U.S. Army (fmr.)

Staff Seargant Matt Pelak, U.S. Army (fmr.) – “Senator Cotton, please stand down. Despite your best efforts, tough diplomacy is keeping America safe. Negotiations have frozen and even rolled back Iran’s nuclear program for the first time in history. The framework agreement represents a historic opportunity to block Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, and it does so without costing a single American service member’s life. At least we can agree that politicians have bad habits to kick, starting with “beating the drums of war.”” [4/10/15]

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