The following statement was released this morning by Ploughshares Fund, regarding the historic nuclear agreement struck by the P5+1 and Iran.
The global security foundation Ploughshares Fund hailed today's Iran nuclear agreement as a groundbreaking triumph for U.S. diplomacy and security, strongly urging Congress to support this historic step to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb.
"This is a very good deal. It is a major victory for American national security. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, without putting a single U.S. soldier in harm's way," said Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund. "But we haven't crossed the finish line yet. Congress will now give it a review, and a majority of nuclear security and policy experts agree that this deal deserves its full support," he added.
In accordance with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review bill signed by President Obama in May, Congress now has 60 days to review the deal signed in Vienna by the P5+1 -- the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China -- and Iran. Congress can approve the agreement, reject it, or do nothing, in which case it would still go into effect. Congressional approval of the deal is not required.
"The talks have delivered a solid agreement resulting from an extremely rigorous and carefully calibrated diplomatic process," said Philip Yun, Ploughshares Fund Executive Director. "We must remember that the U.S. was not alone in negotiating this deal. We were part of a coalition of five other world partners, all seeking to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state."
Research shows that a clear majority of Americans supported a nuclear deal, which is the best way to block Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons. The deal will require Iran to cut its enrichment capacity by two-thirds and slash its existing uranium stockpile by 98 percent. Highly rigorous and intrusive inspections will detect any Iranian attempt to renege on the deal and enable rapid response if it does. U.S. sanctions will be suspended only after inspectors verify that Iran has complied with its part of the deal. And terrorism and human rights-related sanctions will remain in place.
"For those who oppose the deal, the onus is on them to provide a viable alternative," said Tom Collina, Ploughshares Fund Policy Director. "This deal is far better than any other option we currently have to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb."