You have worked with us for nearly a decade to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, and that result comes via diplomacy, not war. Our efforts, in coordination with a large coalition of organizations, combined with President Obama’s determination, led to a historic framework agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, announced last week.
This critical agreement achieves two important things:
- If Iran decided to build a nuclear weapon (and that is a big if) the time it would take to produce enough fissile material for a crude weapon would be at least one year, giving the international community plenty of time to act.
- The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) will have unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program from soup to nuts and can inspect any suspected covert sites as well.
In exchange for the above Iran would receive economic sanctions relief.
If we stopped negotiating with Iran and it reversed the cutbacks in its nuclear program it would have the capacity to make enough nuclear bomb material for one crude weapon in only two to four months. This agreement extends that four to six times by reducing Iran’s centrifuges by 2/3 and allowing it to use only old technology for 10 years, reducing its stockpile of low enriched uranium by 97% for 15 years and by reconfiguring its nuclear reactor so no weapons grade plutonium will be made, nor could be reprocessed, indefinitely.
Let’s not forget what the alternatives are. We could stop negotiating with Iran and it could lower its time to get enough materials for a crude bomb to two months or less. This might threaten Israel enough that it would take military action. The U.S. could take military action that might push back Iran’s nuclear program by a few years, start a major war in the Middle East and encourage Iran to produce a nuclear weapon as soon as possible.
Speaking of war, already neocons like Sen. McCain, Bill Kristol and John Bolton have either alluded to or directly called for U.S. bombing of Iran. We all remember the Iraq war. Iran is nearly four times the size of Iraq with almost three times the population and a much larger military. This is a horrific option and why the vast majority of Americans oppose military intervention with Iran.
Even though the negotiators have until June 30th to finalize an agreement, some in Congress want to take legislative action that would most likely kill the bill. Next week, Sen. Corker will mark up and try to bring to the floor a bill that would require Congress to take an up or down vote on any final deal, bar the President from relieving sanctions for months and require the nearly impossible task of guaranteeing that Iran is not funding any violent extremists.
Thanks again for your help in getting us this far and so very close to solving one of the national security conundrums of the decade. Do take a moment to write your congressional delegation and ask them to support this agreement.
Humbly for Peace,
Paul Kawika Martin
P.S. By sending a quick letter to Congress to oppose any legislation around Iran diplomacy, it will give the international community the best chance to finalize the historic framework agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. Please edit the letter with your own words to give voice to your concerns and hopes for peace!