Progressive Policy Institute President Will Marshall today released the following statement after the announcement of a landmark nuclear agreement between the United States, Iran, and five other world powers:
“Even before today’s nuclear deal with Iran was struck, President Obama’s critics accused him of giving away the store. Now the burden of proof falls on them to show why no deal is better than this deal.
“No deal means no constraints on Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and produce plutonium, giving it two paths to nuclear weapons. How will perpetuating this dangerous status quo make America or its allies safer?
“In contrast, the agreement reached in Vienna today between major world powers and Iran closes both paths to the bomb for the next decade. It also extends the embargo on missiles and bars Iran from designing warheads and testing nuclear detonators. Crucially, Iran has agreed to submit to more intrusive inspections than required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“There’s no question, in short, that the deal moves Iran back from the nuclear threshold. Capping nearly two years of hard bargaining, it is a major diplomatic achievement for President Obama and his two Secretaries of State: Hillary Clinton and especially the indefatigable John Kerry.
“But it’s also a victory for collective security. The United States alone could not have wrung concessions from Iran without strong backing from its negotiating partners, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. Congress needs to keep that fact in mind as it takes up the accord. Unilateral action by U.S. lawmakers risks cracking the extraordinary united front the international community has maintained against Iran’s nuclear program.
“The agreement is far from perfect—no diplomatic deal ever is. Large questions remain about how and when sanctions on Iran will be lifted, and what happens 10 years from now when Iran resumes nuclear enrichment with more modern equipment, ostensibly to fuel civilian nuclear power. But the President has made undeniable progress, and he deserves progressives’—and the country’s—support.”
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