Debate on Nuclear Deal: In US

The following are excerpts from op-eds, memos and reports by American experts and former government officials that reflect the debate on the Iran nuclear deal as the Trump administration completes a review of its Iran policy. The administration must notify Congress every 90 days whether Iran is complying with the deal and if the United States will continue to waive nuclear sanctions as part of its commitment under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Shortly after certifying Iran’s compliance in July, Trump hinted that he may not do the same in October. “We’ll talk about the subject in 90 days but I would be surprised if they were in compliance,” he told The Wall Street Journal. Even critics of the deal, however, have warned against pulling out of the agreement. Several have offered suggestions for ensuring Iranian compliance.


Anthony H. Cordesman

Center for Strategic & International Studies; former national security assistant to Senator John McCain; director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense

The JCPOA agreement is not perfect and some forms of cheating are always a possibility, but no arms control arrangement can ever be perfect. The current U.S. crisis in dealing with North Korea should be a warning that it is far better to have a JCPOA that requires constant effort and presents some risks than help create a structure in which Iran goes openly nuclear and seeks to develop anything like a meaningful ICBM. Adding and enforcing sanctions that effectively mean Iran does not get the promised economic benefits from the JCPOA is far more likely to lead to a renewal of Iran's nuclear efforts, and/or a major increase in tension and its other military efforts, than add to U.S. and regional security.

The U.S. also needs to recognize that the Iranian insistence on continuing missile development was almost inevitable—given the near obsolescence of much of Iran's air force and the problems in keeping it operational at high sortie rates in an actual conflict. There is no meaningful way to have a conventionally armed missile program that will not mean testing and deploying missiles with enough range payload to allow a missile to carry a nuclear weapon. This is why the U.S. and Russia set a standard based on the actual arming of a missile, and why a separate UN resolution that only dealt with the theoretical range payload of all missiles was not a practical choice for an Iran whose combat aircraft were vastly outclassed by Arab, U.S. and European air forces.

The JCPOA meets an acid test: It is better than any credible present alternative. Letting the current cycle of growing confrontation, military build-up, and hostility continue is an equally bad option and alternative. It risks locking the U.S. and the region into what has already been a decades long arms race and creating steadily worse possibilities for future conflict. Iran does present real risks, and its leadership may leave the U.S. and its Arab allies with little future choice, but taking a bad case as a given and reacting by making things even worse makes no sense at all.

—Aug. 29, 2017, in an article for CSIS


David Albright

President, Institute for Science and International Security, and former U.N. weapons inspector

The deal’s implementation under the Obama administration was too permissive and tolerant of Iran’s violations of the deal, its exploitation of loopholes, and its avoidance of critical verification requirements. The result was that Iran was able to push the envelope of allowed behavior in directions harmful to U.S. national security. Too often, the Obama administration made concessions, tolerated cheating, or avoided strengthening steps out of a misplaced fear that Iran would walk away from the deal or that somehow President Rouhani’s presidency needed protecting.

Until today, the Trump administration has continued to implement the deal. I hope that policy continues. However…there is an urgency to focus on fixing deficiencies in the Iran deal. At its core, the Iran deal is a bet that by the time the nuclear limitations end, Iran, the region, or both will have changed so much that Iran will no longer seek nuclear weapons. But despite immense sanctions relief, Iran has been increasing its conventional military power and efforts at establishing regional hegemony, including interfering in the affairs of and threatening its neighbors.

When the major nuclear limitations end at the end of year 15 of the deal, Iran has stated it will have industrial-size enrichment facilities. With this capability, it will be poised to rapidly break out to make weapon-grade uranium, first within a few months and in successive years, breakout times will decrease toward a few days. Iran will have developed advanced centrifuges that would enable a quick sneak out to nuclear weapons. It is seeking to master long-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missiles including possibly intercontinental nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. So, in a sense, the JCPOA potentially delays and creates an even worse reckoning. This Iranian nuclear future is unacceptable.

—April 5, 2017, in testimony before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Committee of Oversight and Government Reform


John F. Kerry

Visiting distinguished statesmen, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former secretary of state from 2013 to 2017 during the nuclear negotiations

The world was united on one issue alone — Iran’s nuclear capability. We could not have achieved unity or held the sanctions regime together if we added other issues. But we believed it would be easier to deal with other differences with Tehran if we weren’t simultaneously confronting a nuclear regime.

What did we achieve? For one thing, contrary to some reports, it was Iran that had to pay up front. Before Iran received a dollar of sanctions relief, the IAEA confirmed that the country had eliminated 97 percent of its uranium stockpile, destroyed the core from its Arak reactor (which blocked the production of weapons-grade plutonium), ripped out more than 13,000 centrifuges, halted uranium enrichment at the underground Fordow site, and opened its program to intrusive monitoring. In eight consecutive reports, the IAEA has confirmed that it’s working.

Much attention has been focused on the agreement’s “sunset provisions.” That is a misnomer for an agreement that has provisions lasting 10, 15, 20 and 25 years, with the most important ones lasting forever. That said, nearly all arms-control agreements contain time elements, which is why so many result in follow-on accords, once confidence is built on both sides.

We were comfortable because the cap on Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile remains in place until 2030. It is impossible to produce a nuclear weapon with 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.

—Sept. 29, 2017, in an op-ed in The Washington Post

Daryl G. Kimball

Executive Director, Arms Control Association, and former executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers

Although his administration is already struggling with one major nonproliferation challenge—North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile capabilities—President Donald Trump soon may initiate steps that could unravel the highly successful 2015 Iran nuclear deal, thereby creating a second major nonproliferation crisis.

If Trump backs out of the accord and tries to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions absent clear evidence of Iranian violations, the United States would be blamed, international support for new sanctions would be soft or non-existent, and Iran could choose to exceed the limits set by the deal…

If Trump cannot produce solid evidence of an Iranian violation, Congress does not have to and should not vote to reimpose nuclear sanctions.

The Iran nuclear deal is a clear net plus for U.S. and global security. It has dramatically reduced the proliferation risk posed by Iran’s nuclear program and mandates unprecedented monitoring and transparency measures to deter and promptly detect any violation. It promises to block Iran’s pathways to development of nuclear weapons for a decade or more. There is no realistic option for scrapping the agreement and negotiating a “better deal.”

The smarter approach would be to continue to implement and vigorously enforce the multilateral nuclear deal and seek to build global support for the widespread adoption of its most innovative verification and nonproliferation measures.

—Aug. 29, 2017, in an editorial for Arms Control Today

Michael Singh

Managing Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council

Three objectives are particularly important with respect to Iran:

1. Prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons—or significantly advancing its ability to do so—and from proliferating nuclear weapons technology.

2. Counter Iran’s efforts to challenge U.S. interests and undermine U.S. allies in the region, whether through proxy militias, support for terrorist groups, or challenges to navigation of regional waterways.

3. Prevent Iran from mounting or supporting terrorist attacks or cyberattacks globally.

Iran is stronger now than it was in 2009, exerting power and influence across the Levant, in Iraq, in Yemen, and elsewhere. It is free from most international sanctions that previously weighed down its economy and frustrated its geopolitical ambitions, and the United States would enjoy little support from allies outside the Middle East if it sought to unravel the JCPOA and reimpose those sanctions. A strategy of deterrence toward Iran should comprise three pillars.

1. ENFORCING AND ENHANCING THE JCPOA. Rather than abandoning the JCPOA or unconditionally committing to it, the United States should secure the commitment of allies to better enforce the deal and address its flaws.

2. COUNTERING IRANIAN REGIONAL ACTIVITIES. The United States, together with its allies, should push back against Iran’s efforts to project power where they pose a threat to U.S. allies or interests. A particular emphasis should be placed on Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and on countering Iran-backed proxy networks in the Middle East and beyond.

3. STRENGTHENING U.S. REGIONAL ALLIANCES. The United States should help allies build security institutions and forces geared toward facing the actual threats posed by Iran, which include terrorism, missiles, and political subversion. Engagement with Iran should continue as needed, but should be done together with regional partners where possible and supplemented by increased outreach to the Iranian people.

—March 7, 2017, in a policy note for the Trump administration


Jon Wolfsthal

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and former senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation

In many ways, President Trump’s concerns with Iran are understandable. The country remains a state sponsor of terrorism, continues to back Syria’s President Assad, undermines U.S. allies in the region and, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, continues to develop ballistic missiles. Yet none of these problems get better if the nuclear agreement with Iran unravels. Just as with North Korea, our ability to protect our friends and advance our interests is vastly more difficult if we have to confront a nuclear-capable Iran. We should be worried about Iranian behavior in a variety of arenas and push back more effectively, but not at the expense of an effective deal that keeps Iran from going nuclear.

If the Trump administration is to challenge Iran’s dangerous actions, it has to prioritize those steps it most wants to prevent Iran from taking. Going nuclear should rise to the top of that list, and that priority should inform both the tone and substance of the Iran policy review now underway. By keeping the JCPOA on track, the Trump administration can both take on Iran more effectively and prevent some future administration from dealing with a more dangerous nuclear-armed adversary, something many wish had happened under George W. Bush with respect to North Korea.

—April 26, 2017, in an op-ed for Defense One


Ariane Tabatabai

Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and Senior Associate in the Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

The United States should take a number of steps to sustain and build on the JCPOA:

Continue implementation of the JCPOA. Continuing to implement the JCPOA is vital for the future of U.S. leadership and its ability to effectively pursue arms control and nonproliferation agreements. Failure to implement the JCPOA would send a signal to U.S. partners and adversaries alike that America cannot be relied on as a negotiating partner. Maintaining the JCPOA also allows the United States to enforce the agreement more strongly.

Help Iran reintegrate into the international economy. A more integrated Iran will have more incentive to minimize its nefarious activities. It would also help empower the more moderate factions within Iran, which have had to choose between the country’s economy and other struggles, such as human rights, over the past decade. Moreover, a more integrated Iran would make economic coercion, should it become necessary in the future, more effective.

Engage Iran, rather than isolate it. By engaging Iran, the United States can undermine the hard liners, empower the moderates, and secure U.S. interests. The United States should also encourage its Gulf Arab allies to engage in dialogue with Tehran to settle regional conflicts and decrease tensions.

Identify areas where U.S. and Iranian interests converge. Washington should look for ways in which Tehran’s regional influence can be leveraged to advance U.S. interests. Iran has a strong interest in a stable Afghanistan and may be willing to work with the United States, as it did in unseating the Taliban following the 9/11 attacks, to achieve a lasting political settlement there. In addition, Iran is fighting al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which may suggest another area of cooperation for the United States. It is critical to assess and respond to Iranian activities on a case by case basis rather than to view them all through a single adversarial lens.

—Aug. 15, 2017, in a policy brief for the Cato Institute


James F. Jeffrey

Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Iraq and Albania

Leveraging the Iran deal to pressure Tehran, or even negotiating a more restrictive agreement, may look at first blush like mission impossible. Despite the nibbling at the edges described above, there is as yet no serious Iranian JCPOA violation. there is little likelihood that the United States could convince the agreement's other signatories and third parties to again implement U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

The United States can take measures here short of a full-scale JCPOA annulment—which, given the difficulties imposing international sanctions, would likely be a diplomatic disaster. European allies, for example, recently joined the United States in challenging an Iranian missile test "in defiance of" UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA. The issue of blocked IAEA access to Iranian military facilities should also be reviewed.

Iran's expectation of commercial benefits from the JCPOA is also its Achilles' heel. The administration could discourage global firms from doing business with Iran by leaving open its final position on the deal, and thus placing at risk their business with America. This is a technical violation of the JCPOA's terms, but of the most unrealistic condition—the commitment to support Iranian economic development. While such actions would disappoint Iran, they are unlikely to drive Tehran from an otherwise beneficial agreement.

—Sept. 8, 2017, in an article for Foreign Policy


Mark Dubowitz

CEO, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

President Donald Trump promised to “rigorously enforce” the JCPOA, which he has also called “the worst deal ever negotiated.” While strict enforcement is an important first step, it is insufficient. The JCPOA provides Iran with a patient pathway to nuclear weapons capability. If the United States simply enforces the agreement, Iran will become a threshold nuclear weapons state.

The JCPOA preserved essential elements of the country’s nuclear infrastructure and placed only limited, temporary, and reversible constraints on Iran’s nuclear activities. In exchange, Iran got the complete dismantlement of many of the most effective U.S. and international economic sanctions.

At the heart of the JCPOA is a fatal flaw: Iran does not need to cheat to reach threshold nuclear weapons capabilities. By following the deal, and waiting patiently for key constraints to disappear, Tehran can emerge as a threshold nuclear power with an industrial-size enrichment program; near-zero breakout time; an easier clandestine sneak-out pathway; an advanced long range ballistic missile program, including intercontinental ballistic missiles; access to advanced heavy weaponry; greater regional dominance; and a more powerful economy increasingly immunized against Western sanctions.

The Trump administration should work with Congress to design a statutory architecture that freezes the Iranian nuclear program where it is today and impose new crippling sanctions if it expands in any way that drops nuclear breakout time to less than one year. To achieve this, advanced centrifuge research, development, and deployment levels, for example, need to be significantly constrained. There is no compelling reason for Iran to have a breakout time to a nuclear bomb of less than one year.

—April 5, 2017, in Congressional testimony to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, national Security Subcommittee


Dennis Ross

Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and senior diplomat in the Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations

Our aim at this point should be to isolate Iran, not ourselves. We want the world riveted on Iran's bad behaviors, and not what some of our allies will see as ours…Which brings us to this irony: The focus on the JCPOA—whatever its genuine limitations—won't deal with any of the current Iran threats, including the very real danger that Iran is positioning itself with the Shia militias to fill the vacuum after the defeat of ISIS in Raqqa.

At the very moment we need to convince our European allies to join us in raising the costs to the Iranians, the Trump administration would surely alienate them if it appears to walk away from the JCPOA. We certainly won't have more credibility in putting a spotlight on what Iran is doing with Hezbollah and the other Shia militias if we appear to be denying or contradicting the IAEA's findings on Iranian compliance on their nuclear program. Rather than making it easier for our allies to join us, we will make it harder.

—Sept. 8, 2017, in an op-ed for New York Daily News


Ollie Heinonen

Senior Advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

The JCPOA assigns no specific monitoring task to the IAEA in Section T to ensure that Iran fully complies with its commitments not to engage in nuclear weapons-related activities, nor does the nuclear agreement ensure that the IAEA has unrestricted access to verify Iran’s commitment. A clear provision outlining such a task is particularly important, as it makes sure in unambiguous terms the IAEA’s ongoing investigations and access, particularly given its earlier conclusion that Iran had conducted computer modeling of a nuclear explosive device prior to 2004 and between 2005 and 2009.13 Such a verification requirement should be introduced by the IAEA Board.

It has now been a year and a half since the IAEA Board made the politically-motivated decision to remove the agenda item on the possible military dimension from its consideration. An effective and credible monitoring system, however, requires addressing the remaining open questions. Such investigations would need to be comprehensive in order for the Agency to arrive at a final credible conclusion that all nuclear material and activities in Iran are in peaceful use. In order to derive a credible broader conclusion, the IAEA needs to move diligently to resume its PMD investigations, including visits to military sites and interviewing people associated with experiments in question.

Assuming that the IAEA Secretariat is following its verification standards and is going forward, it is vital also for the IAEA to detail, in an open manner in its quarterly reports, its progress in tackling the legacy issues identified in the December 2015 report and the work the Secretariat is undertaking towards the broader conclusion. Article 5 of the Safeguards Agreement between Iran and the IAEA includes provisions for reporting to the IAEA Board, and therefore such details would be in line with the stated goal of the JCPOA to increase transparency into Iran’s nuclear program.

—June 2017, in a research memo


Mark Fitzpatrick

Executive Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies – Americas; and former acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Non-proliferation

Where were you when the US invaded Iraq 15 years ago? I was an acting Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department, with an inside view on the decision-making process.

The invasion was a political decision supported fragilely by cherry-picked intelligence from Iraqi defectors with their own agendas. The cost of the blunder included half a million or more Iraqi casualties, 5,000 American combat deaths, over $2 trillion in US treasure, and a region in turmoil, with Iran the only winner. It was a searing object lesson on why policy has to be based on an unbiased appraisal of the facts.

The US appears now to be heading toward an analogous situation regarding Iran. Unfounded assumptions, false claims and ideologically-tinged judgments are driving a confrontational approach that could well lead to another war in the Middle East, this time against a more cohesive adversary.

In the Iran case today, another pre-ordained decision is looming and it again involves inspections. The Trump administration reportedly wants the IAEA to demand access to Iranian military sites, and to use Iran’s likely refusal as a basis for finding it to be in non-compliance with the JCPOA. It may be the route that White House political operatives suggest as a way to meet President Trump’s pre-determination not to again certify that Iran is in compliance, even when the facts clearly say otherwise. Deciding the finding in advance would be an outrageous cooking of the books and a false basis for then deciding to end US sanctions relief under the JCPOA. Attempting to kill the nuclear deal in this fashion would give Iran hardliners their own excuse to ramp uranium enrichment back up, recreating a crisis that could lead to war.

To be sure, Iran military facilities should not be off-limits for the IAEA; in fact, inspectors have visited Iranian military sites over two dozen times. They have not done so in the past two years under the JCPOA, however. The agency has been able to meet its verification requirement through other means, but it is important not to allow the absence of such visits to set a norm. In any case, military site visits will be required for the IAEA to be able to reach the ‘broader conclusion’ under the Additional Protocol that all nuclear activities in Iran are for peaceful purposes. Because Iran wants the legitimacy that this conclusion would entail, it has a reason to cooperate with the IAEA in allowing military site visits.

—Aug. 1, 2017, in an IISS blog post


John R. Bolton

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Over the past two years, considerable information detailing Tehran’s violations of the deal have become public, including: exceeding limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water; illicit efforts at international procurement of dual-use nuclear and missile technology; and obstructing international inspection efforts (which were insufficient to begin with).

Since international verification is fatally inadequate, and our own intelligence far from perfect, these violations undoubtedly only scratch the surface of the ayatollahs’ inexhaustible mendaciousness.

Accordingly, withdrawing from the JCPOA as soon as possible should be the highest priority. The administration should stop reviewing and start deciding. Even assuming, contrary to fact, that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, it remains palpably harmful to American national interests. It should not have taken six months to reach this conclusion. Well before Jan. 20, we saw 18 months of Iranian noncompliance and other hostile behavior as evidence. The Trump transition team should have identified abrogating the deal as one of the incoming administration’s highest policy priorities.

—July 16, 2017, in an op-ed for The Hill (click here for his outline on how to exit the deal)


Statement from Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialists on the Iran Nuclear Deal

September 2017

Since the nuclear deal was implemented in January 2016, the JCPOA has dramatically reduced the risk posed by Iran’s nuclear program and mandated unprecedented monitoring and transparency measures that make it very likely that any possible future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly.

Iran dismantled more than 13,000 centrifuges, placed them in monitored storage, and shipped out more than 11 tons of low-enriched uranium. Since implementation day, Iran has met its commitments to enrich uranium only up to 3.67 percent uranium-235, retain no more than the equivalent of 300 kilograms of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent in its stockpile, and enrich using only 5,060 first generation, IR-1 centrifuges.

Taken together these restrictions ensure that Iran’s capability to produce enough bomb-grade uranium sufficient for one weapon would be approximately 12 months for a decade or more. This conclusion was underscored by Daniel Coats, Donald Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, who stated in the May 2017 Worldwide Threat Assessment, that the JCPOA has “enhanced the transparency of Iran’s nuclear activities” and “extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to about a year.” Prior to commencing negotiations with Iran in 2013, that timeline would have been 2-3 months.

Since implementation day in January 2016, Iran’s compliance with its obligations has been effectively verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through an intrusive, multilayered monitoring regime that spans Iran’s nuclear supply chain. Iran’s enrichment levels are also monitored in real time.

Taken together, these rigorous limits and transparency measures will make it very likely that any future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly, providing the opportunity to intervene decisively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The JCPOA has proven flexible and responsive to implementation problems that emerge. When Iran’s supply of heavy water twice marginally exceeded the limit set by the JCPOA, the IAEA noted the excess and Iran promptly rectified the situation, which never posed a proliferation risk.

Abandoning the deal without clear evidence of an unresolved material breach by Iran that is corroborated by the other EU3+3 partners runs the risk that Tehran would resume some of its nuclear activities, such as enriching uranium to higher levels or increasing the number of operating centrifuges. These steps would decrease the time it would take for Iran to obtain enough nuclear material for a warhead.

Furthermore, unilateral action by the United States, especially on the basis of unsupported contentions of Iranian cheating, would isolate the United States. Such an approach would also impede the United States’ ability to seek future nonproliferation agreements, both with Iran and in the broader international community.

Abandoning the deal would also increase the likelihood of wider conflict in the Middle East and could trigger a destabilizing nuclear competition in region.

Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and former Director-General for Arms Control in the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry

James Acton, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Amb. Sergey Batsanov, former Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Conference on Disarmament

Amb. Brooke D. Anderson, former Chief of Staff and Counselor for the National Security Council

Alexandra Bell, Director Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Bruce Blair, Princeton University

Barry M. Blechman, Co-Founder, Stimson Center

Hans Blix, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Hon. Avis Bohlen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control

Des Browne, Lord Browne of Ladyton, former Secretary of State for Defense of the UK, Chair of the European Leadership Network (ELN) and Vice Chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

Matthew Bunn, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and former adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Susan F. Burk, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, Department of State

John Carlson, Nuclear Threat Initiative, former Director General, Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office

Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund

Avner Cohen, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Tom Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund

Thomas Countryman, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation

Philip E. Coyle, III, former Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association

Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Professor Shen Dingli, Associate Dean at the Institute of International Studies and Director of the Program on Arms Control and Regional Security Studies at Fudan University

Amb. Sergio Duarte, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Robert J. Einhorn, former Department of State Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control (2009-2013)

Dina Esfandiary, Centre for Science and Security Studies, Kings College London

Marc Finaud, Arms Proliferation Cluster Leader, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Trevor Findlay, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne

Jon Finer, former State Department Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning

Ellie Geranmayeh, Middle East & Africa Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations

Alexander Glaser, Co-Director, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Ilan Goldberg, Director of Middle East Security Program, Center for a New American Security, former Iran Team Chief, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Lisbeth Gronlund, Co-Director, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Morton H. Halperin, former Director of Policy Planning Staff, Department of State

Amb. Laura S. H. Holgate, former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Amb. Bonnie Jenkins, Brookings Institution and former Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs at the U.S. Department of State

Colin H. Kahl, former Deputy Assistant to President Obama and National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden

Mary Kaszynski, Deputy Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund

Togzhan Kassenova, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Catherine Kelleher, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

R. Scott Kemp, Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, former advisor to the Department of State's Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control

Amb. Laura E. Kennedy, former U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva

Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association

Michael Krepon, Co-Founder, Stimson Center

Ulrich Kühn, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ellen Laipson, President Emeritus, Stimson Center and former Vice Chair, National Intelligence Council

Jeffrey Lewis, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Rebecca Lissner, Council on Foreign Relations

Jan M. Lodal, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Robert Malley, former Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North African and Gulf Region

Jessica Matthews, former Director, National Security Council Office of Global Issues

Fred McGoldrick, former Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and Export Policy, U.S. Department of State

Brian McKeon, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Oliver Meier, Deputy Head, International Security Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Zia Mian, Co-Director, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Nicholas Miller, Dartmouth College

Adam Mount, Ph.D., Center for American Progress

Richard Nephew, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University, former Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the U.S. Department of State, and Director for Iran on the National Security Staff

Götz Neuneck, Co-Director of the Institute of Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)

George Perkovich, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Amb. Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan

Amb. (ret.) Steven Pifer, Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution

Paul R. Pillar, former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia

Valerie Plame, former CIA covert operations officer

Joshua Pollack, Senior Research Associate, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Dr. William C. Potter, Professor of Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey*

Edward Price, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to President Obama

Professor Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and Professor of Mathematical Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Milano

Tariq Rauf, former Head of Verification and Security Policy Coordination, Office reporting to the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency

Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Nickolas Roth, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center, Harvard University

Dr. Randy Rydell, former Senior Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

Andrew K. Semmel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation (2003-2007), Department of State

Thomas E. Shea, Federation of American Scientists, former International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards official, and former Sector Head of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jacqueline Shire, former Member of UN Panel of Experts (Iran)

Leonard Spector, Executive Director, Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and former Assistant Deputy Administrator for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration

Sharon Squassoni, Director, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Ariane M. Tabatabai, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University

Greg Thielmann, former Director of the Strategic, Proliferation and Military Affairs Office, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

John Tierney, Executive Director, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, former Member of Congress

Dr. Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst, International Crisis Group

Frank N. von Hippel, former Assistant Director for National Security, White House Office of Science and Global Security

David Wade, Chief of Staff to U.S. Department of State

Dr. James Walsh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program

Anthony Wier, Legislative Secretary for Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Jon Wolfsthal, former Special Assistant to the President for National Security and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the National Security Council

David Wright, Co-Director, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

—Sept. 12, 2017 in a statement organized by the Arms Control Association



Some of the information in this article was originally published on September 14, 2017.