36 Retired US Generals, Admirals Back Iran Nuclear Accord: Report

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Some 36 retired US generals and admirals have defended the conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers in an open letter, a report said.

The retired general and admirals released an open letter in support of the accord on Tuesday, urging the US Congress to back the agreement as well, Washington Post reported. 

The US generals stressed in the letter that diplomatic path should be given a chance.

The letter said, “Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is fully implemented. If the Iranians cheat, our advanced technology, intelligence and the inspections will reveal it, and US military options remain on the table.”

“And if the deal is rejected by America,” it further said, “the Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. The choice is that stark.”

Signers of the military letter include retired general and flag officers from every branch of service. They include four-star Marine Gens. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, former head of the US Central Command; and Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton of the Air Force.

The letter from the retired military officers followed the release this past weekend of a letter to Obama by 29 of the nation’s leading scientists, who called the agreement “technically sound, stringent and innovative” and said it would “provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.”

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14 reached a conclusion on a lasting nuclear agreement that would terminate all sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear energy program after coming into force.

The 159-page deal has its own opponents and proponents both in Iran and the other countries that are parties to the JCPOA, particularly the US. While the United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution to endorse the deal, the text of the document needs to be ratified by both Iran’s Parliament and the US Congress.

Congress is expected to vote in September on a measure disapproving the accord, which Obama has promised a swift veto. Lawmakers would then have to find enough votes to override the president.

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