This first-step agreement with Iran represents a good way forward.
Under the preliminary deal, Iran must halt further advancement of its nuclear program. There is no doubt that without this deal, Iran would continue to develop greater nuclear capabilities. This six-month agreement includes a rigorous inspection and transparency regime.
Congress deserves credit for enacting credible sanctions legislation. Along with executive branch efforts, these sanctions brought Iran to the table. Now, this new agreement presents the international community with a prime opportunity to test whether Iran is serious about compliance before implementing a final, more comprehensive deal. The current deal does provide limited sanctions relief—but this represents only a small fraction of the total pressure being exerted against Iran, and is completely reversible if Iran fails to comply with the preliminary agreement.
For now, this first step deserves our full support.
Resolving the Iranian nuclear threat through diplomacy is far better than the alternative. As retired military leaders, we know first-hand the enormous consequences of military action.
The hard part will come later when the P5+1 seek to negotiate a final agreement that will eliminate any possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapons capability.
We should give this initial deal a chance to succeed while the international community closely monitors Iranian compliance, and works to achieve a resolution to the Iranian nuclear program.
- Lieutenant General John “Glad” Castellaw, USMC (Retired) Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard Jr., USA (Retired) Lieutenant General Norman Seip, USAF (Retired) Major General Marcelite J. Harris, USAF (Retired) Brigadier General John Adams, USA (Retired) Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Retired) Brigadier General John Johns, USA (Retired)
- Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard Jr., USA (Retired) is chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Brigadier General John Johns, USA (Retired) is a member of Council for a Livable World’s Board of Directors.