December 4, 2014, Washington, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 43 senior security experts, intelligence officials, former diplomatic and military leaders, and policymakers issued a statement on November 26th in support of the decision extending the time period for nuclear negotiations with Iran and encouraging Congress to refrain from enacting additional sanctions now.
The signatories included PAAIA Board member, Hamid Biglari, as well as former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, and Brent Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.
The statement explains that only a negotiated settlement will result in long term assurances that Iran’s nuclear program can be solely used for peaceful purposes and that the extension of the negotiations “will continue to advance US national security interests and those of our allies in the Middle East.” The statement maintains that the world “has become a safer place” since the initial agreement (Joint Plan of Action) between P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, China, and Russia) and Iran in November of 2013.
The statement acknowledges the important role Congress will have in maintaining oversight of the negotiations, but advises that it should refrain from passing additional sanctions that risk undermining U.S. and international efforts. “The negotiations may yet fail, but then it would be time to act, not now. These negotiations are the best tool for advancing U.S. national security and that of its allies.”
The letter was published by the Iran Project, which is a bipartisan organization composed of national security leaders who support official talks with Iran to head off an Iranian nuclear weapon and improve U.S. national security.
The statement supports the results of PAAIA’s 2014 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans which indicates that an overwhelming number of Iranian Americans would like to see a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear dispute with Iran. Nearly two-thirds would support the removal of nuclear-related sanctions if a comprehensive deal is successfully brokered.
Click here to read PAAIA’s statement on the extension of the nuclear negotiations.