Former Government Officials and Experts Support Efforts to Fix Iran Nuclear Deal

October 30, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from certifying Iran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal under the Congressionally mandated Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA), a group of more than 20 former government officials and Iran, nuclear, and sanctions experts issued a statement today expressing support for addressing the nuclear deal’s deficiencies. The letter also follows the president’s announcement of a comprehensive policy addressing the full range of Iranian threats and fixing the deal.

The former officials and experts note that the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, contains a series of problematic components and as a result “puts Iran on a legal glide path to a nuclear weapons arsenal.” The signatories call upon the White House and Congress to “end the nuclear blackmail imposed by the current JCPOA.” They urge Washington to establish “clear conditions for any sanctions relief provided under the JCPOA to continue” and then “forge a common position” with U.S. allies. The letter was organized by Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz and Council on Foreign Relation Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh.

FDD scholars joined the distinguished group of experts including former IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen, Senator Joseph Lieberman, former Senior Advisor to the Director of National Intelligence Amb. Joseph DeTrani, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Amb. Robert Joseph, Institute for Science and International Security President David Albright, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Mary Beth Long to express support for efforts to fix the deficiencies in the JCPOA, including its sunset clauses. 

“As written, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action enables the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to take patient pathways to nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles as key restrictions sunset,” Dubowitz said. “President Trump’s decision to decertify the deal is the essential first step as part of a comprehensive U.S. strategy to fix the fatal flaws of the JCPOA.

“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the tip of the spear of the regime’s terrorism and regional aggression and brutally enforces the theocracy’s ideology at home. We applaud the administration’s decision to sanction the entire organization as a terrorist group,” FDD President Clifford D. May said.

The full text of the letter and the list of signatories is included immediately below:

We, the signatories of this letter, support President Donald Trump’s attempt to fix the Iran deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA stands as one of the most highly deficient arms control accords in the history of American arms control diplomacy. Its cascade of sunset clauses, permissive advanced centrifuge research and development schedule, lax inspection regime, and refusal to address Iran’s growing ballistic missile threat mandate its revision. The agreement puts Iran on a legal glide path to a nuclear weapons arsenal. We also applaud President Trump’s determination to designate for the first time the lethal Revolutionary Guards in its entirety for terrorism. The Revolutionary Guards are the Islamist regime’s instrument for repression at home and aggression abroad, and they must be held accountable for their many atrocities. 

We hope that the White House and Congress can come together to fix a fundamentally flawed agreement, curb Iran’s illicit activities, and end the nuclear blackmail imposed by the current JCPOA. Once the United States establishes clear conditions for any sanctions relief provided under the JCPOA to continue, we can best approach our allies to forge a common position in dealing with America's most enduring adversary in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Elliott Abrams | David Albright | Richard V. Allen | Amb. Joseph DeTrani | Michael Doran | Mark Dubowitz | Reuel Marc Gerecht | Richard Goldberg | Lawrence J. Haas | John Hannah | Olli Heinonen | Amb. Robert Joseph | Matthew Kroenig | Robert J. Lieber | Sen. Joseph Lieberman | Mary Beth Long | Clifford D. May | Robert McFarlane | Scott Modell | Emanuele Ottolenghi | Samantha F. Ravich | David Rivkin | Jonathan Schanzer | Ray Takeyh | Kenneth R. Weinstein