Time is running out for preventing Iran from fully developing nuclear weapons—a process that has been underway for many years, contrary to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime—to which Iran is a signatory. In-depth analyses of the technical facts should inform the debate on the pending deal, but have been missing—and yesterday a letter to President Obama and shared with the Capitol Hill leadership should enable needed debate on the merits of the proposed Deal.
My September 1, 2015 message emphasized that the congress was in a “countdown” to a very bad Iran nuclear Deal, referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA). Since then, the 34 votes needed in the Senate to support the President’s veto of anticipated legislation to reject the JCPOA have been achieved, with the announcements of support for the Deal by Senators Casey (D-PA), Coops (D-DE) and Mikulski (D-MD).
Now the heat is on for Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to head-off even a face-off over the Deal by gathering 41 votes to block even the “Congressional Resolution of Disapproval” that probably will be passed by the House. The issue is whether the Senate will also approve that Bill—given that the 41 votes sought by Senator Reid can enforce an indefinite filibuster of that proposal, not permitting a vote in which the majority would support the Resolution.
Until now, most of the debate has been largely uninformed of key facts—while some disquieting facts have dribbled out raising serious questions about the wisdom of moving ahead with a Deal about which many were already very uneasy. Thus, a number of us undertook a serious examination of what is known about the Deal and provided that analysis to a community of experts with extensive experience in arms control, intelligence and nuclear matters—56 of these folks signed on to a September 2, 2015 letter to President Obama, urging him to reconsider his announced intention to veto any congressional resolution of disapproval of the JCPOA.
I am proud to be one of these 56 who made our concerns public yesterday in a letter to President Obama, with copies to the congressional leadership. We are well aware of other group letters supporting the President’s nuclear deal with Iran, including a July 20th one that included shallow praise for the JCPOA that no one outside of the administration could have thoroughly studied. This letter is different.
It is supported by serious people who want not only to express their views, but also to articulate the analytical basis for them. The Attachment to the letter, which is itself quite substantive, consists of 11 pages of analysis with 3 pages of citations and references so that both opponents and proponents of the Deal are not asked just to take our word for reasons to oppose the JCPOA. The President, Congress and the American public need to examine these details to understand the fatal flaws and risks to the United States that are sure to result from the JCPOA if it is accepted.
The President, before the deal was signed, repeatedly assured Americans that he understood that: “No deal is better than a bad deal.” Now we are told that a bad deal is better than no deal.
The President has said the JCPOA cuts off Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. It does not. The JCPOA aids Iran’s ability to test a nuclear device.
The President has asserted that the deal is verifiable. It is not.
The Obama administration has asserted the JCPOA requires Iran to bring into force an agreement (the Additional Protocol) to give inspectors some additional authority. It does not.
They have also asserted the JCPOA provides for the most comprehensive and intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated. It does not.
And there’s much to back up these claims—and more problems—that those contemplating their votes in the coming weeks should consider.
Below is yesterday’s Press Release and links to our letter to the President and its supporting analyses.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2015
For More Information Contact:
Samantha Nerove | email@example.com
Fifty-Six Nuclear Weapon, Treaty, and Intelligence Experts Urge President Obama to Reconsider Iran Nuclear Deal
(Washington, D.C.): Today, 56 preeminent experts on nuclear weapons programs, arms control, nonproliferation and intelligence sent a letter to President Obama with an extensive analytical attachment urging him to reconsider his intention to veto any Congressional resolution of disapproval of the Iranian nuclear deal, known also as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
President Obama has said: “No deal is better than a bad deal.” The letter highlights fatal flaws in the JCPOA that render it a very bad deal. The JCPOA, the letter notes, permits Iran to retain key equipment, facilities and materials for its nuclear program; and, puts in place a completely ineffective verification regime that, according to Associated Press reports, will be permitted to inspect its own facility at Parchin and itself provide samples from Parchin to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Some of the eminent individuals who signed the letter include:
- Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Advisor to the President
- Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), U.S. Senator 1995-2013; Senate Majority Whip; Member, House of Representatives 1987-1995
- Ambassador R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence
- Ambassador C. Paul Robinson, former President and Director of Sandia National Laboratories
- Ambassador John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
- Troy E. Wade, Former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Defense Programs and Head of DOE Programs in Nevada and Idaho
- Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
Ambassador Henry F. “Hank” Cooper, Former Chief Defense and Space Talks Negotiator and SDI Director and a signatory to this letter, stated:
“This unverifiable Deal guts the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which Iran has been violating—and replaces it with a far less restrictive regime. We’d be far better off if congress rejects the Deal, insists that Iran keep its NPT commitments and strengthens the sanctions to enforce that demand.”
“It’s crunch time, since 34 senators have indicated they will support the Deal. We provided well-founded technical details—some not well known or appreciated—that should help congressional staff to inform themselves of the many faults of this unverifiable deal—and why their bosses should vote against it. This knowledge should be important to those on both sides of considering whether 41 Senators should oppose legislation that could provoke the President’s promised veto. And, of course, to persuade the President and his advisors to change their minds.”
Paula DeSutter, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance and a signatory to this letter, stated:
“The President has asserted that the deal is verifiable. The signers of this letter have more direct experience in verification matters regarding all areas of arms control and nonproliferation treaties than any existing anywhere in the world. The JCPOA is not verifiable. As the late Paul H. Nitze said in his 1988 testimony on the INF Treaty: ‘Poorly verified agreements are in reality far worse than having no agreement at all”.
The President has said: “No deal is better than a bad deal.” Now we are told that a bad deal is better than no deal. The President has said the JCPOA cuts off Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. It does not. The JCPOA even provides for assistance to Iran’s ability to test a nuclear device. This is a very bad deal.”
A Recess Challenge.
Unless a sufficient number of our representatives (e.g., at least 67 Senators and 290 Representatives) are persuaded during their current recess to overrule the President’s veto of legislation not to approve the Deal—votes to back President Obama’s Deal with Iran will put us on this disastrous course for madness in the Middle East—which can easily extend to America. And this does not even consider the potential nuclear arms race between the Sunni and Shia states that also would have global implications.
Let your representatives know of your concerns during this fleeting recess period. In particular, let them know how you feel about the very consequential votes they will face shortly after they return on the Deal with Iran.
Don’t forget that one high altitude nuclear explosion can destroy the electric power grid and most Americans could perish within a year. And someday there will a major solar storm that could produce the same result. The only question is “Will we be prepared when it occurs?”
While allegedly seeking a decade free of Iranian nuclear weapons, our leaders are ignoring the near-term existential threat from Iran (and North Korea) posed by nuclear weapons detonated in space over the United States. This threat already exists from North Korea—and may exist from Iran. The Deal with Iran will do little if anything to reduce that threat.
Even ISIS could create this existential threat if they buy a SCUD missile (easy to do) and somehow get a nuclear weapon to mount as a payload, a difficult but not implausible task for them and/or their allies—perhaps even with an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Still the Washington “powers that be” continue to ignore this existential threat reality. The American people need to inform themselves of these realities and demand that their current and future representative provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
The key question is, “Do we have the will and time to do so?”
Near Term High Frontier Plans.
In addition to continuing to press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible, we will continue working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.
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