PilotOnline.com Publishes Article by Center Board Chair, Gen. Robert Gard on Congress and Iran

Without an Iran deal, U.S. will have only bad options

By Robert G. Gard Jr.

Read the full article on The Virginian Pilot

April 13, 2015

The United States and its international partners – collectively known as “the P5+1” – have reached a framework agreement with Iran over the future of its nuclear program; debate in Washington now focuses on whether it’s a “good deal.

Many, including a majority of the Senate’s Republican caucus, oppose any deal and will try just about anything to stop it – including writing a letter to Iran’s leaders pledging to undo the agreement once President Barack Obama leaves office.

Others aren’t so open about their opposition.

A handful of senators led by Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Robert Menendez are pushing legislation – supported by Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner – that would allow Congress to vote on the final agreement.

This is a dangerous game that could ultimately derail diplomacy.

The reality is that the outline of the framework agreement is indeed a good one – blocking all of Iran’s paths to building a nuclear weapon and imposing a rigorous inspection regime in exchange for phased sanctions relief.

But what this debate has lacked, and will likely be missing in the coming weeks, is discussion of the possible alternatives to a negotiated agreement with Iran.