To the Editor:
Rep. Bruce Poliquin has concerns about the proposed deal to restrain nuclear weapons development by Iran. He worries it may allow Iran to develop weapons later and threaten others, including Israel. But the alternative to the deal on the table is no deal at all – the embargo frays and falls apart, and Iran walks away unmonitored and free to develop unregulated nuclear capacities.
In looking to our national interests and those of allies, including Israel, it is important to distinguish the roles each has in the negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has the role – by disposition, position and choice – of the strident and bellicose voice of intimidation striking fear into the Iranians and pushing them to their limits to yielding a deal in our interests. He has played that role well, and the result has been a strong deal.
It prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability during the coming decade. It provides access for monitoring compliance rather than relying on trust. And it motivates compliance by restoring Iran to the benefits of trade and exchange which will foster their commitment to peace.
Secretary of State John Kerry has played his role well in negotiating as strong a deal as we probably could get. It is supported by Sen. George Mitchell, current and former leaders of our military, the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly, and the vast majority of the arms control community.
Now it is time for Congress – including Rep. Poliquin and Senators Angus King and Susan Collins – to play their role by providing a bipartisan endorsement of the sound deal that is on the table and is our last best option. Please urge them on!
- Gray Cox