Nuclear Scientists Urge US Congress to Preserve Iran Deal

Nuclear Scientists  Urge US Congress to Preserve Iran Deal
Nuclear Scientists  Urge US Congress to Preserve Iran Deal

Over 90 leading US nuclear scientists publicly threw their support behind the Iran nuclear deal on Monday, appealing to the US Congress to save the accord in the face of President Donald Trump's disavowal.

In a letter to the leaders of both parties in the US Senate and House of Representatives, the prominent scientists underlined the “"momentous responsibilities" congress carry regarding the agreement, the New York Times reported.

"Congress should act to ensure that the United States remains a party to the agreement," said the letter, signed by prominent physicists and other luminaries in the US scientific community.

The letter said the signatories were offering their perspective "as scientists who understand the physics and technology of nuclear power, of nuclear explosives, and of long-range missiles; and who collectively bring their experience with nuclear nonproliferation."

Richard L. Garwin, a 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and nonproliferation advocate, whose work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the early 1950s gave birth to the hydrogen bomb; all three winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics; and Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of Los Alamos who is internationally regarded as an authority on nuclear security threats were among the big names who signed the letter.

Trump has railed against the 2015 agreement, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, describing it as a giveaway to Iran.

He has branded it "one of the worst" deals ever and insists it should be either renegotiated or dismantled altogether.

His administration has targeted the provisions of the pact that expire over the next two decades and has complained that the deal's bans should have also addressed Iran's missile development and its growing regional clout.

European parties to the accord, namely Britain, France, Germany and the European Union, who are among the closest allies of the United States, have urged the Trump administration to uphold it.

They, along with Iran, have ruled out a renegotiation of the deal.

***Unrealistic Objective

The scientists said Trump's reservations could be addressed without a renegotiation, which their letter called an "unrealistic objective".

The letter was reflective of an intense lobbying underway in congress by supporters and opponents of the agreement, which swapped time-bound curbs on Tehran's nuclear program for relief from international sanctions.

The lobbying has gathered force since Trump's announcement a few weeks ago that he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the deal, as part of an aggressive new strategy to confront Iran.

Trump's action essentially kicked the fate of the agreement into the congress, which has less than 90 days now to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran, a step that could effectively unravel the entire agreement.


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