Despite major setbacks in recent days, President Barack Obama’s nuclear energy deal with Iran received a boost on Aug. 8 when 29 top scientists in the U.S. sent the commander in chief a letter praising the deal and the president’s actions.
“We congratulate you and your team,” the letter begins. The Iran deal “will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and can serve as a guidepost for future nonproliferation agreements.”
The letter was authored and signed by some of the nation’s most educated experts on nuclear weaponry and arms control. For example, the first name on the signature list is Richard Garvin, who helped develop the globe’s first hydrogen bomb, The New York Times noted.
The letter also labels the 24-day waiting period before inspectors can examine Iran’s nuclear facilities “unprecedented” and believes that the stipulations in the deal will benefit the U.S. through 2040, calling these “long-term verification procedures.”
The letter is a much-needed boost to efforts by the White House to promote and support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement. Lawmakers in both houses of Congress have expressed skepticism over the validity of the negotiations and the leniency that Iran receives in waiting periods and economic sanction relief. Moreover, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, one of the most influential Jewish voices in government, revealed on Aug. 7 that he will not support the president’s deal.
The long list of scientists, nuclear energy experts and professors who signed the letter does bode well for the White House’s campaign. The letter was likely not a partisan move either, as many of the names listed have worked for and advised Republican presidents on nuclear energy capabilities of other nations and how to proceed with diplomatic talks.
Ultimately, the authors of the letter characterized the deal as “a technically sound, stringent and innovative deal that will provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more than Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.”