In an incredible bolster to President Obama’s championing of an international nuclear deal with Iran, twenty-nine of the nation’s most prestigious scientists, including Nobel laureates, veteran nuclear arms engineers, and former White House science advisers, penned a letter to Obama this Saturday praising the agreement as innovative and necessary.
The letter couldn’t have come at a better time as Obama is trying to garner bipartisan support for the deal.
From the New York Times:
The two-page letter may give the White House arguments a boost after the blow Mr. Obama suffered on Thursday when Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, a Democrat and among the most influential Jewish voices in Congress, announced he would oppose the deal, which calls for Iran to curb its nuclear program and allow inspections in return for an end to international oil and financial sanctions.
The first signature on the letter is from Richard L. Garwin, a physicist who helped design the world’s first hydrogen bomb and has long advised Washington on nuclear weapons and arms control. He is among the last living physicists who helped usher in the nuclear age.
Also signing is Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who, from 1986 to 1997, directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb. The facility produced designs for most of the arms now in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Other prominent signatories include Freeman Dyson of Princeton, Sidney Drell of Stanford and Rush D. Holt, a physicist and former member of Congress who now leads the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.
According to the letter, this latest Iran deal has “more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated nonproliferation framework.”
“We congratulate you and your team,” the letter opens, addressing the President directly, adding that the 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 also addresses criticism from opponents that the deal will let Tehran potentially develop nuclear arms without constraint after 10 years.
“In contrast,” it says, “we find that the deal includes important long-term verification procedures that last until 2040, and others that last indefinitely.”
You can read the entire 2-page letter here.
Featured image: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg