Today, President Trump took the first step towards killing the international agreement that stops Iran from building nuclear weapons and prevents a new war in the Middle East. Ending this historic agreement puts both possibilities back in play.
At his press conference this morning, Trump announced that he will not certify that Iran is in compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement. This is contrary to the views of his national security team, US intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who all agree that Iran is in compliance. He is going against the advice of his own aides, our key allies, and the vast majority of nuclear and national security experts in the US and around the world.
This is serious. According to Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA), "We are sleepwalking into an armed conflict." And as a former commander in the Iraq War, Major General (Ret.) Paul D. Eaton, put it: "Today, Donald Trump has moved us closer to a war with Iran, while he has also moved us closer to a nuclear war with North Korea."
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wasted no time today announcing legislation that would outright violate the deal. If the Senate approves his plan, the US would attempt to rewrite the deal on our terms — an action akin to you telling your bank or landlord that from now on you're only going to pay half your mortgage payment or rent. You can imagine how the international community will react. These actions fly in the face of strong support for the deal, from China, France, Germany, the European Union, the UK, Russia, and Iran — all of whom are party to the agreement. Trying to rewrite this agreement would be like playing with fire in a dry forest.
Here's the good news. We are rising up to the challenge.
In fact, broad opposition to this outrageous violation of American security commitments has already forced the president to back down on his initial intentions. Instead of killing the deal outright, his move today just opens the door to the Senate taking the kill shot. We must ensure they never get the chance.
Former opponents of the Iran deal may help us in this effort. Senator Chuck Schumer (D‑NY), who originally voted against the deal in 2015, now says, "If Iran violates the deal that's one thing. If they don't and do other bad things, let's not violate the deal." Senator Rand Paul (R‑KY), another Congress member who opposed the deal, said, "Most of the complaints about Iran don't have anything to do with the agreement. They complain about ballistic missiles and other things, but that's not part of the agreement. I think while the agreement's not perfect, my main concern has always been compliance. But if they're complying with it, I think we should stay in it."
We are fighting back both inside — and as importantly — outside of Congress.
Ploughshares Fund is providing grants to support a new mass movement, tapping into the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rose up to defend health care, immigration, and action on climate change. We are mobilizing people against a new crisis — the possibility of another war, and of another nuclear‑weapons state. You may have already received email alerts from MoveOn.org, Indivisible, CREDO, Win Without War, NIAC, J Street, Beyond the Bomb, Peace Action and FCNL. They are all part of a coalition — and part of the movement to save this vital accord.
We also are funding dozens of experts who are providing policy makers and the general public with reports and fact sheets to distinguish truth from propaganda. From the Arms Control Association, to the Center for New American Security, to the team of former diplomats and military leaders in the Iran Project, defenders of the Iran deal are taking action to save it. Many of these experts, including myself, are making more appearances on television and radio, helping the public understand this issue and the risk of war.
We are proud of these patriotic Americans. They are doing important work to keep our country and our world safe from nuclear weapons and out of another war. We encourage supporters to make a contribution to support that work, and make that work their own.
Please consider a gift today. We are in the fight of our lives, and need every dollar we can raise for this new challenge. With our supporters by our side, I am confident of victory.
We fought hard to achieve this vital agreement; we will not let it go down in flames.