Key Female Leaders Support the Iran Deal
Key Female Leaders Support the Iran Deal
This site is being consistently updated as women leaders release their positions on this issue.
|Obama Administration Officials|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
"Everybody talks about their concerns about what happens 15 years from now; quite frankly, I'm concerned about what happens today. Iran has 12,000 kg of enriched material, they have a plutonium reactor that's almost ready to go to create weapons-grade plutonium, they've mastered the entire fuel cycle, they know how to build a nuclear weapon, the supreme leader hasn't made the decision to go for one. If this all collapses, if we walk away, quite frankly we walk away alone and in that aloneness, Iran is probably going to decide to move forward with its nuclear program." – July 30, 2015
“Put simply, we have always said that no deal is better than a bad deal and that we had to get a good deal and the right deal, and we believe that this is a very good deal. It fulfills the framework for a comprehensive deal that was reached in Lausanne and goes beyond that framework in several areas. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to fissile material for a nuclear weapon; it ensures the vigorous inspections and transparency necessary to verify that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon; it ensures that sanctions will snap back into place if Iran violates the deal; and it is a long-term deal, including elements that are permanent.” – July 16, 2015
“[Iran’s] got to dismantle two-thirds of its centrifuges. It's got to get rid of 98 percent of its uranium stockpile. It's got to allow continuous and extraordinary access to its nuclear facilities. It's got to take steps to make inoperable its current heavy-water plutonium reactor, among other steps.
It's got to satisfy the IAEA that any questions that the IAEA has that remain about Iran's past history of pursuing nuclear weapons have been resolved satisfactorily. Those are all prior steps, before any sanctions relief, that Iran has to take.” – July 15, 2015
“The Iran nuclear deal has been championed by the president of the United States, every one of America’s European friends and countless other countries around the world. If Congress rejects the deal, we will project globally an America that is internally divided, unreliable and dismissive of the views of those with whom we built Iran’s sanctions architecture in the first place. Although it is hard to measure the precise impact of these perceptions, I and other American diplomats around the world draw every day on our nation’s soft power, which greatly enhances our ability to mobilize other countries to our side. While that soft power is built in many ways, two of its most important sources are the belief among other countries’ leaders and publics that we share similar values, and that America delivers on its commitments. Of course, there is no substitute for the essential deterrent and coercive effects rooted in the hard power of America’s unmatched military arsenal. But we should not underestimate the political capital we will lose—political capital that we draw upon for influence—if we walk away from this deal.
Senators and representatives are right to deliberate carefully over whether America’s national security interests are better served by accepting or rejecting this deal. Putting the deal under the microscope is a crucial part of that process. But so is taking a step back and weighing the cost that rejecting the deal would have on our ability to lead the world in confronting Iran and other 21st century threats. Viewed from that perspective, the price of our lonely walk away looks very high indeed.” – August 26, 2015
(Joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif)
“We know that this agreement will be subject to intense scrutiny. But what we are announcing today is not only a deal but a good deal. And a good deal for all sides – and the wider international community…We call on the world community to support the implementation of this historic effort.” – July 14, 2015
Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General on Political Affairs of the European External Action Service
No publicly available quote (Ms. Schmid was one of three women leaders, including Ms. Mogherini and Ms. Sherman that negotiated on behalf of the P5+1)
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
“This would be a vital contribution for the security situation in the whole region. I appeal on all sides to contribute to a speedy implementation.” – July 14, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, 2009-2013; U.S. Senator, 2001 - 2009
"I am still studying the details, but based on the briefings I received and a review of the documents, I support the agreement because it can help us prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification, and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel, and our Arab partners safer …. I support this agreement because I believe it is the most effective path of all the alternatives available to the U.S. and our partners to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” – July 14, 2015
“As President Obama said, ‘this deal is not built on trust. It’s built on verification.’ There are a number of procedures in place to make sure Iran follows the terms of the agreement.
I welcome the discussion in Congress about the agreement. The American people need to understand this—the more they understand the agreement, the more they will understand its importance. The best thing would be to have this discussion, not to make instant judgments. There should never be any question about the United States’ dedication to Israel’s security.
When the next president is elected, I hope that she will be in a position to make sure the deal is carried out. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was the one who began the process, and she’s very familiar with the issue.
We haven’t had a relationship with Iran since 1979. This agreement offers the opportunity to look at other parts of a bilateral relationship. It’s a fascinating and complicated time in international policy. The nuclear agreement is one part of it, and a very important one.” – July 16, 2015
“Rejection of this agreement would be a strategic setback for the United States, one that our rivals and adversaries would not ignore.
In a turbulent Middle East, there is no way to predict what the next decade will bring. But the United States will be in a far better position to shape events in the region with this nuclear agreement in place than without it. This accord is a bold stroke of diplomacy, and an opportunity we must not waste.” – August 31, 2015
No publicly available quote (Prior to Ms. Mogherini, Ms. Ashton was one of three women leaders, including Ms. Sherman and Ms. Schmid, that negotiated on behalf of the P5+1)
Members of Congress:
* Denotes official statement of support
“I’m proud that America led six countries toward an historic international agreement with Iran. I believe we are right to choose a path of international diplomacy to achieve our goal of verifiably preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I have carefully reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), attended numerous classified briefings, heard from experts and constituents, and examined detailed arguments for and against the agreement. I have also been guided by the hard lessons that should be learned when America chooses to engage in military action and war in the Middle East. Simply put, I do not believe that rejecting this agreement is in our national security interest. For that reason the choice is clear, I will support this international agreement because it will best serve America’s national security interests and it is built on verification with a robust inspections and compliance regime that will cut off all of Iran’s potential pathways to a nuclear weapon.” – August 7, 2015
“I’m proud that America led six countries toward an historic international agreement with Iran. I will now take the time to carefully review this diplomatic agreement and make a judgement on it based on whether it is built on verification, achieves the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and serves America’s national security interests.” – July 14, 2015
“I understand and share Israel’s mistrust of Iran, and that is exactly why we need this agreement – which is not based on trust, but on an unprecedented inspection and verification regime. A deal by definition is never perfect, but as Ami Ayalon, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, said recently, ‘When it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this is the best option.'” – August 4, 2015
“I look forward to robust hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, if this agreement is what the Administration says it is, it is a major, historic diplomatic breakthrough.” – July 14, 2015
“Congress has an important oversight role over all aspects of our government, its actions, and its international commitments. I take seriously the responsibility to review the Joint Compressive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and consider what this historic deal means for the national security of the United States and the future of the Middle East. In reviewing this deal and evaluating its implications, I have received numerous briefings including classified briefings from administration officials, nuclear scientists, foreign policy experts, and my constituents. I have decided to support the agreement because this agreement pushes Iran further away from a nuclear weapons threshold.” – September 8, 2015
“The agreement announced today between the world’s major powers—the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany—and Iran is historic. It offers a verifiable, diplomatic resolution to one of our most pressing national security challenges. This is a strong agreement that meets our national security needs and I believe will stand the test of time. I stand behind the U.S. negotiating team and will support this agreement in the Senate.” – July 14, 2015
“I have decided to support this deal after closely reading the agreement, participating in multiple classified briefings, questioning Energy Secretary Moniz and other officials, consulting independent arms control experts, and talking with many constituents who both support and oppose this deal...If we reject this deal, we do not have a viable alternative for preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons...Our goal has been, and remains, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We have far more ability to achieve that outcome if we approve this deal.” – August 6, 2015
“I strongly supported and helped pass the sanctions that were put in place that brought Iran to the table, but sanctions alone won't work. The best outcome for the national security interests of the United States and Israel is a strong, verifiable deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Now that the deal is complete, it is Congress's duty to look long and hard at the details. I want to read all of the details, especially on the verification components, before making a determination whether this is a good deal.” – July 14, 2015
“My decision is about seeking diplomacy rather than conflict. It’s about working with our allies to keep America and the world safe. It’s about learning lessons from the war in Iraq that we are better off when we build support and work with our allies than when we go it alone. After 15 years of American troops in the Middle East and American money spent on conflicts abroad, let’s give diplomacy a chance.” –September 3, 2015
“After careful consideration, particularly weighing the risks involved in Congress approving or rejecting the deal, I have concluded that supporting this agreement means that Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which was on the verge of success, will be disabled for many years. The agreement requires Iran to affirm that ‘under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons.’ This section of the agreement will enable the U.S. and the international community to take appropriate action, including military action, should Iran violate this unequivocal pledge.” – August 17, 2015
“Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is one of the most important objectives of our national security policy and I strongly advocated for and supported the economic sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table. While the agreement is by no means perfect, I have concluded that it is our best available option to put the brakes on Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon and that is why I will support it. In conjunction with that support I will also push for increased security assistance to Israel and enhanced defense cooperation with our Arab allies to combat terrorism throughout the region.” – August 10, 2015
“This deal isn't perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of the government of Israel. I respect and understand those who oppose it but I have become convinced that it is more dangerous to Israel, America and our allies to walk away in the face of unified world-wide support." – August 20, 2015
“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal. However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.” – September 2, 2015
“After working my way through the details and the alternatives, losing a lot of sleep, and having a lot of good conversations with so many people -- I am convinced that moving forward with this deal is the best chance we have at a strong diplomatic solution, it puts us in a stronger position no matter what Iran chooses to do, and it keeps all of our options on the table if Iran doesn't hold up their end of the bargain.” – August 25, 2015
“When this agreement comes to the Senate floor in September, I intend to support it. Rejecting this agreement would leave us with no credible non-military options for stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This agreement is not about becoming friends with Iran or turning a blind eye to its efforts to destabilize the Middle East. We must redouble efforts to help our other allies counter Iran’s malign influence in the region. In particular, our commitment to the defense of Israel remains unshakeable. And we must maintain vigorous sanctions against Iran for its support for terrorism and violations of human rights.” - August 6, 2015
“Throughout negotiations, I’ve been adamant that the United States must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that hard-nosed diplomacy is the preferred means of doing so. Earlier this year, Congress passed legislation, which I supported, that allows the House and Senate to consider this weighty agreement in all its detail. It is critical that Congress take the time necessary to conduct this review. My support for this deal hinges on whether we can verify that Iran’s paths to obtaining a nuclear weapon are thoroughly blocked. I want to congratulate Secretary Kerry, Secretary Moniz and the rest of the negotiating team for their tremendous persistence in reaching this agreement, and I look forward to a thorough review with my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee.” – July 14, 2015
“I have determined that the imminent threat of Iran having a nuclear weapon outweighs any flaws I see in the international agreement. For this reason, I must support the agreement.
“For me, the decision comes down to this: without this international agreement, Iran will have enough nuclear material for a weapon in three months. With this agreement, and the international coalition committed to it, we have the opportunity to stop Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon, certainly for at least 25 years.” -August 24, 2015
“The question now before Congress - the only question before Congress - is whether the recently-announced nuclear agreement represents our best available option for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. After carefully reviewing the text of the agreement, consulting with experts both in and out of government and receiving extensive briefings from President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Secretary of Energy Moniz, I am convinced that it does... Those who oppose this deal have not disputed these facts and have presented no realistic alternatives. Because I believe that this deal is our best available option, I support it." – August 3, 2015
"A nuclear-armed Iran represents a significant threat to the United States, to our allies in the Middle East, and to the world. Diplomacy represents our best hope of ending that threat, far better than the alternative of escalating tensions and war. President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Secretary Moniz deserve great credit for working with our allies to reach a negotiated solution to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran without resorting to military action. In the coming weeks, I look forward to reviewing the details of this agreement to determine whether they are tough, verifiable, and effective." – July 14, 2015
“This is a diplomatic masterpiece.” – July 30, 2015
“The historic nuclear agreement announced today is the product of years of tough, bold and clear-eyed leadership from President Obama. I commend the President for his strength throughout the historic negotiations that have led to this point. I join him in commending Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz for their leadership.” – July 14, 2015
“The JCPOA is not perfect. Opponents of this agreement have valid concerns, some of which I share. But there are no viable alternatives, and we cannot afford to put our trust in hoping for ‘a better deal.’ Currently, Iran can develop a nuclear weapon within two to three months. This agreement will delay that ability up to 15 years by reducing Iran's stockpile of uranium by 98 percent, limiting enrichment of the remaining uranium to well below bomb-grade, eliminating two-thirds of Iran's centrifuges, and providing for constant, intrusive inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities. These mandates are unprecedented.” – September 3, 2015
“"I commend President Obama and his cabinet for their commitment to diplomacy and direct discussion. Their leadership and the international sanctions regime they led brought both Iran and our allies to the negotiating table, and because of their effort the United States' most trusted and historic allies support this agreement because it is both tough and thorough. The United Nation's Security Council unanimously approved the agreement because it is effective, verifiable and durable, and Congress should not move the world backward. There is no ‘better deal’ attainable. Congress killing this deal would leave the world with the worst of both worlds: No monitoring or verification and no more crippling multilateral sanctions.” – August 24, 2015
U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03)*
“In the nearly two months since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced on July 14, 2015, I have diligently read and reviewed the agreement in unclassified and classified settings, had private conversations with President Obama, met with colleagues in Congress, top ranking Administration officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Lew and members of the National Security Council. Further, I made a commitment to my constituents that I would listen to them and their concerns. To that end, during the August district work period I held public forums in my district and the JCPOA was at the forefront of each dialogue. The diversity of my Congressional district provided me the opportunity to hear a wide range of local and national opinions on both sides of the agreement.
This agreement, while not perfect, calls for Iran to halt its ability to enrich uranium or create nuclear weapons in the near-term. I believe the JCPOA provides the United States and our allies with the most realistic and effective course of action currently available to derail Iran’s nuclear weapons program. “ – September 10, 2015
U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01)*
“Over the last several weeks I have been carefully considering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that is intended to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. There is no question that preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon is in the best interest of the United States, Israel and the Middle East, and the rest of the world. I favor diplomacy over military action whenever and wherever reasonably possible, and I strongly agree that an engaged and unified international community, led by the United States, is the best option to preserve peace by keeping close watch over a rogue state that seems to respond only when the world’s major powers speak in one voice. It is through this lens, and with these goals, that I approached my analysis of the JCPOA and the potential consequences of Congress accepting or rejecting the agreement. When Congress returns to Washington, DC, next week I will not vote to reject the agreement; I will support it and advocate for vigorous oversight and enforcement.” – September 4, 2015
If Congress unilaterally walks away from the agreement, we will be in a much weaker position to prevent an Iranian bomb. The tough multinational sanctions that forced Iran to the negotiating table will collapse and the regime will be emboldened to restart their nuclear program at full speed. Our rejection of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would set us down an extremely uncertain and dangerous path for ourselves, for the region and for Israel.” – September 2, 2015
“Nuclear weapons experts, with whom I have spoken, believe the agreement is strong, but few believe it is perfect. While the agreement does not rely on trust, it does rely on the inspections regime, and our intelligence agencies, to be able to uncover violations.
Some have argued that we should reject this deal in the hopes that China, Russia and our European allies will stay united in pressuring Iran to agree to better terms. Given the herculean effort it took to bring these countries together to apply the sanctions in the first place, that most of these countries want access to Iran's markets, and that all of these countries support the agreement, such a notion seems unrealistic.
Others have argued for military strikes. A military strike in Iran would almost certainly have unintended consequences, and there is no guarantee that strikes would be effective. But there is a real possibility that military strikes would lead to significant civilian and military casualties.
In the end, if we walk away from this agreement, there is little certainty the conditions will exist to get a better deal, and the risks to our national security are less with this deal, than with no deal. I also simply cannot ask our brave men and women in service to risk their lives while a diplomatic option is on the table.
For these reasons, I intend to support the agreement.” – August 29, 2015
“Like my vote against the Iraq War, consideration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is one of the most consequential foreign policy votes I will take during my time in Congress. After careful consideration I have decided to support the JCPOA because it is the best way forward to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and advance the national security interests of the United States and our allies.” – August 11, 2015
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)*
“Since the announcement of the JCPOA, I have read, reviewed and researched the efficacy of the agreement, met with passionate and informed constituents, and participated in a number of classified briefings on the subject. My overriding concern is whether or not the agreement is in the national security interest of the United States. After careful review and discussions, I believe that it is.
It has been a long-standing goal of the United States and our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The United States enacted economic sanctions on Iran and successfully led the international community to adopt additional restrictions with the goal of bringing Iran to the negotiating table and halting nuclear weapon development. Sanctions worked and produced an agreement that appears to halt Iran’s nuclear weapon development.
I did not come to this decision lightly. I’ve spoken with sanctions experts and military leaders. I heard from hundreds of my neighbors through phone calls, letters, emails, social media posts and in office meetings who both support and oppose the agreement. I value their opinions. The common goal, even among those who disagree about the merits of this deal, is to prevent violence and war and create the opportunity for peace and prosperity in the Middle East, particularly for Israel.” – September 10, 2015
“We have the choice of two historic firsts. One, a never before seen inspections regime that assures us of a nuclear free Iran. Or two, America walking away from a deal that we negotiated with other world powers, abdicating our global leadership at a moment of crisis. There are risks with accepting and rejecting the deal. But the risks of rejecting it are too great. For the sake of our security, the security of our allies, and our position as a trustworthy global leader, I have concluded that we must support the Iran nuclear deal.” - September 2, 2015
“One of the United States’ most pressing foreign policy priorities is prevention of a nuclear-armed Iran. After studying the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), I am convinced that it is our best opportunity to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and provide for the safety of the United States, Israel and the world.” – August 13, 2015
“Secretary Kerry’s tenacity and commitment has produced what most thought impossible – a possible diplomatic solution to the decades-long problem of Iran’s growing nuclear program. I look forward to carefully and thoroughly reviewing the agreement to ensure that it fulfills the goals of verifiably preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and promoting peace and stability in the region.” – July 14, 2015
“After several weeks of briefings, analysis, consultation, and conversation, I have come to the conclusion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the most effective means by which the United States and her allies can achieve the goal of preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weaponry. It will set new rules of engagement regarding nuclear capabilities with one of the world’s most hostile and menacing regimes. As one of the premier state sponsors of terrorism in the world, the Iranian regime has made its intentions clear through words and actions that it will, if left unchecked, create a nuclear weapon. The Iranian regime has the knowledge base resident with their scientists of how to build and create such weaponry, they have the materials and infrastructure to do so. By all accounts, the Iranian regime’s nuclear program is currently two to three months away from its goal of completing its uranium enrichment program, producing enough enriched uranium to make good on its threat to create a nuclear bomb. Iran is on the verge of creating a nuclear bomb, right now. The JCPOA provides a pathway that holds great potential to forever change this reality.” – August 31, 2015
“I am convinced that after an extensive number of discussions and reviewing materials, the Iran nuclear agreement creates a viable path to reducing Iran’s nuclear weapons capability now and for the future...I am under no illusions this agreement will end Iran’s role as an obstacle to stability in the Middle East, but I do believe we will have a better chance at containing and mitigating the risk posed by Iran than if Congress rejects the agreement.” – August 26, 2015
“If this agreement is fully carried out, it will mark a major change in the security and diplomatic environment in the Middle East. There is no trust involved in this effort, because our nation’s security is not built on trust; it is built on our ability to strictly verify our safety and the safety of our allies. In supporting the agreement, I will vigilantly monitor its progress and the broader regional situation. This treaty must serve our national interest for years to come, and I will hold this and future administrations to that standard.” – September 3, 2015
“Secretary of State Kerry, Energy Secretary Moniz, President Obama and all the P5+1 negotiators should be applauded for their tireless dedication that got us to where we are today. In a region where armed conflict is all too common it is critical that we use our strength as an international leader to promote our interests, the security of our allies and prevent a nuclear Iran. We must not allow the proliferation of nuclear weapons, particularly in a region embroiled in turmoil.” – July 14, 2015
“Throughout the negotiations, I have insisted that the final agreement contain the highest standards to hold Iran accountable, allow for rigorous international inspections, and ensure that Iran will not have access to nuclear weapons. This agreement does that and is our best available alternative to military action. In 2007, I introduced a resolution stating that the President must receive approval from Congress before taking military action against Iran or any other country. That is because I fundamentally believe that war is not the best option for arms control in the region. We have been down that path for 15 years and we have seen the grave consequences of not allowing diplomatic efforts to move forward. Learning from that harrowing experience, we must pursue all alternatives before war. ... This agreement is not rooted in trust, but in our ability to verify compliance. For these reasons I support the efforts of Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz to secure this agreement, which I believe meets the goal of our negotiations to deny a dangerous Iranian regime access to a nuclear weapon.” - August 20, 2015
U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01)*
“Everyone’s shared goal is to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and without this agreement, Iran could have nuclear capabilities in a matter of months. I’ve read the agreement, attended classified briefings with the Administration, and met with military leaders, nuclear experts, international officials and constituents, who both support and oppose this deal. After considering all of the opinions and information, one thing I’m certain of is that no one can speak with absolute clarity and predict what will happen 15 years from now in the Middle East. However, this deal is our best opportunity to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon today.” – September 3, 2015
“In the end, I have decided that I will support the agreement when it comes before Congress for a vote. In trying to approach this decision in a balanced manner, I have reached the conclusion that pragmatically we have no other realistic options, and failure to support the President will hurt the United States in the world community while having no impact on preventing Iran from gaining nuclear capability. The leadership of the United States is very much at stake and if we do not assert this leadership, our European allies, the Chinese and others will not support us in dealing with these kinds of critical situations again.
Without the JCPOA, Iran would have the capacity to acquire enough material for a nuclear bomb within the next few months. In addition, failure to approve the deal would leave Iran's nuclear program and capability shrouded in secrecy and we would have no means to keep it in check. Also of concern, other members of the P5+1 - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany – will no longer impose economic sanctions such that the benefit of what has been gained in recent years would be significantly diminished if not completely lost. This simply represents too much danger for the United States and for world peace.” – August 24, 2015
“Members of Congress have a critical responsibility to put politics and partisanship aside and carefully review the details of this agreement. My colleagues who condemn this proposed agreement without a viable alternative short of going to war are being reckless and irresponsible.” – July 14, 2015
“This week I will vote to support the JCPOA. This is a vote with enormous consequences for U.S. national security interests. I did not make my decision lightly. Over the past few weeks I spent many hours reading and reviewing the agreement and its classified annex. I received briefings from the Administration and national security, intelligence and non-proliferation experts. I had many discussions with stakeholders who hold passionate views on both sides of the argument and heard from hundreds of my constituents.
I have no illusions about the authoritarian Iranian regime. Iran is our enemy, it is Israel’s enemy and it is the enemy of all nations that seek peace and stability. But Iran’s destabilizing role in the region would be much greater if it could obtain nuclear weapons. Therefore preventing a nuclear armed Iran must be our primary goal.” – September 9, 2015
“I salute President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their relentless pursuit of diplomacy with verification. I look forward to reading the details of today’s historic announcement and working with my colleagues to ensure that Iran and the international community meet all promises and commitments to ensure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon.” – July 14, 2015
“In the face of a legitimate threat of immense magnitude from a nuclear-capable Iran, I believe this agreement is the right path forward. My decision is not based on trusting Iran. To the contrary, the regime has a long list of offenses that I deeply object to, but there must be a mechanism in place to keep them from becoming a nuclear power. Nor would I suggest the agreement is perfect. But, in m y view, to reject it would be a grave mistake for the United States, a repudiation of our allies in the effort, a danger to Israel, and further deterioration in the Middle East.” – August 3, 2015
“I commend President Obama and Secretaries Kerry and Moniz on their leadership in reaching a comprehensive agreement. As I begin to review the agreement, my priority is ensuring that this deal can verifiably prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As with any nuclear arms deal, we must evaluate this proposal not based on trust and faith, but on cold, hard analysis of what best advances the national security interests of the United States and what best enhances global stability.” – July 14, 2015
“The Iranian nuclear deal is the beginning, but only the beginning of a new, multinational commitment. It is not enough to sign a piece of paper. We must commit to ensuring that the inspectors have the resources to carry out the agreement and that they have access to the most sophisticated technology. We must also continue to support our own intelligence and military capabilities to be ready to act at any sign of cheating. And we must stand strong with our allies who helped negotiate this agreement to act decisively and with unity in response to Iranian efforts to avoid or undermine its obligations. Make no mistake – Iran will test our resolve. We must be vigilant, and we must be ready.” – August 25, 2015*
U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11)*
“Having read the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), engaging in insightful conversations with both opponents and proponents of the agreement, and listening to my constituents, I have concluded that supporting the agreement is in the best interest of the United States, Israel, and our global community. I arrived at this decision after extensive due diligence and receipt of sufficient answers to questions posed to me. I feel confident that I have made the right decision.
While the agreement is not perfect, it is far better than the alternative, which is no agreement at all. Rejecting this agreement would not only leave our country at risk, it would jeopardize global relations and trust. Further, rejection of this agreement would allow Iran to make continued progress toward a nuclear weapon, which, in my opinion, would lead us on a path to war.” –September 10, 2015
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02)*
“If the United States walks away from this deal, we won’t walk back into the world as we know it today. We will instead walk into a world of uncertainty, with Iran likely gaining billions of dollars from an unraveled sanctions regime, while continuing down their superhighway towards a bomb. The unprecedented constraints, intelligence, and IAEA oversight access gained with this deal will fall by the wayside. This would lead us to the strong likelihood of necessitating military action against Iran now, in order to temporarily destroy its nuclear program, and deal with the long-lasting consequences of such an attack, including the immeasurable costs to our nation.
This deal is far from perfect, so I remain committed to taking the necessary supplementary actions to prevent Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon or the means to deliver such a weapon. My vote today is a commitment to remain vigilant in enforcing Iran’s compliance to this deal. My vote today is a commitment to ensure that while Iran may be permitted a civilian nuclear program, it will never be allowed to produce highly enriched uranium or weapons grade plutonium. My vote today is a commitment to support our longtime ally and friend, Israel, by strengthening both its defensive and offensive capabilities. Finally, my vote today is a commitment to ensure that the United States remains in the best possible position of strength today, tomorrow, and every day after.” – September 11, 2015
U.S. Representative Janice Hahn (D-CA-44)*
“After careful consideration, I am convinced that this agreement deserves support.
It will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, enhancing our national security and also the security and stability of the Middle East.
I know many people of good faith have reservations about this agreement. They have concerns about dealing with Iran and ask how we can trust its ruling regime. I don’t trust Iran. Fortunately, as Secretary of State John Kerry has emphasized, there is absolutely nothing in the entire agreement that depends on trusting Iran. Precisely because we have doubts about Iran’s intentions, this deal includes a robust program for verification, monitoring and inspections as well as the ability to reinstate sanctions. Without this agreement, Iran would be free to pursue a nuclear weapon, and the United States and international community would not be able to inspect what is happening in Iran let alone stop it.” – September 9, 2015
“After years of negotiating, the President announced an historic agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. I believe America and its international partners are taking an important first step in the right direction. In doing so, we are expanding the reach of our nation’s diplomatic powers and hopefully, eliminating the spread of nuclear arms. I applaud President Obama’s commitment to diplomacy and peace-building strategies and commend Secretary John Kerry and Secretary Ernest Moniz for their skilled leadership during the negotiations.” – July 14, 2015
“This agreement strives to move Iran further away from developing a nuclear weapon. It could greatly reduce Iran’s stockpile and enrichment capability, and requires the conversion of the previously-secretive Fordo facility into a nuclear, physics and technology center. Even more importantly, this deal provides the continuous monitoring and oversight needed to verify Iran’s transition to a peaceful nuclear program. The world welcomes the opportunity to engage Iran with diplomacy, but our path forward must be marked by our vigilance and shaped by hard evidence.” – July 14, 2015
“As a Member of the Defense and Energy Subcommittees on the House Appropriations Committee, I have carefully analyzed the details of the JCPOA to ensure U.S. national security and that of our allies. I have had many detailed conversations with constituents, experts, diplomats, military and intelligence officers, and distinguished public servants who have dedicated their lives to the security of The United States, her allies, and the greater good of the global community. After weighing all options and alternatives, studying the international implications and exploring all foreseeable outcomes, I have determined that the Iran Nuclear Deal, negotiated and agreed to by the P5+1 nations, with unanimous support of the 15 members of the Security Council, is a course of action that could bring about a permanent end to Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions. It is the only course that holds Iran accountable and maintains the threat of global sanctions, and does not preclude military action if Iran violates the agreement.
As a result, I am giving the JCPOA my support. I must congratulate the President, his able Secretaries, and the signatory nations for their leadership pursuing an Agreement that holds the hope of sustaining life and creation, and advancing peace for all citizens of the region and our Mother Earth.” – September 11, 2015
U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02)*
“After careful consideration, I have decided to support the Iranian Nuclear Deal. This is not a decision I arrived at lightly. Over the past few weeks, I listened to the opinions and concerns of my constituents and met with people from all walks of life. I heard impassioned arguments on both sides of the issue. It’s clear that Americans want security against the threat of a nuclear Iran. This deal, while certainly not perfect, is the best option available to us in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
With this deal, Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium will be reduced. The country will be opened up to strict monitoring, including on-the-ground nuclear inspectors, and the pathways to a nuclear weapon will be blocked and enforced by the United States and the international community. Should Iran violate the agreement, we have the ability to reinstate sanctions. Without this deal, Iran would be free to pursue its nuclear ambitions. We absolutely cannot allow this to happen.” – September 3, 2015
U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-02)
“This is not the end of the conversation on Iran. We must continue working with our allies to address Iran’s role in global terrorism, their human rights abuses, and their destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East. But this Agreement achieves my number one goal—to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon—and that is why I plan to vote in support of the Agreement next week in the House of Representatives.” – September 4, 2015
“Consideration of this issue has been the most complex and nuanced foreign policy decision I have had to make as a member of Congress. It has challenged long-held beliefs and perceptions of Iran, a nation that is among the most potentially dangerous and influential global leaders of the 21st century. It has, however, become increasingly clear to me -- and many of the world’s leading political, military, and scientific minds -- that America’s current policy to control this potential threat will no longer suffice and I support this Agreement.” – August 24, 2015
“I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our P5+1 partners for their tireless work to obtain a deal which promotes global peace and security. I hope that today’s diplomatic victory is not the last; we must continue working with our partners to ensure greater stability and peace in the region while advancing our non-proliferation goals.
In the coming weeks, the world’s attention will shift from Vienna to the halls of Congress. I hope my Republicans colleagues will put partisan politics aside and support this deal that will bring greater peace and stability to the Middle East.” – July 14, 2015
“In my view, this agreement is the best option we have to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon. Accordingly, I intend to vote ‘yes’ when it comes to the House floor.” – August 21, 2015
U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-01)*
“After hearing from countless constituents and carefully evaluating the P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with stakeholders and national security experts on all sides of this issue, I am convinced that this historic agreement is the best option to protect the national security of the United States and our allies. This agreement, which was negotiated between the United States and the international community, helps prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Without it, Iran would be able to act with virtually no restrictions on its nuclear program. The United States led the world when it was time to apply aggressive sanctions against Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We must continue to lead the world to engage diplomatically and promote peace in the region, while recognizing that all options are still on the table.” – September 9, 2015
“Diplomacy is hard; it takes patience and time. Its purpose is to bring conflicts to a peaceful solution. This agreement works toward that goal while leaving all options on the table. I believe that this historic agreement offers us the best path forward to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. For this reason, I will support the JCPOA when it is considered by Congress in September.” – August 11, 2015
“Denying Iran the ability to continue to develop a nuclear weapon with this verifiable agreement is a diplomatic triumph which enhances U.S. and global security. This agreement is the only alternative to an escalating, dangerous nuclear arms race that threatens the security of the American people.” – July 14, 2015
"I supported sanctions and diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement because I understand that even the most crippling sanctions have not stopped Iran from obtaining nearly 20,000 centrifuges and building a stockpile of uranium that now put it on the threshold of developing a nuclear bomb. An Iranian regime that possesses a nuclear weapon is serious threat to our national security and Israel’s security as well. Though this agreement is far from perfect, I believe failure to approve this deal leaves Iran’s nuclear program completely unchecked and shrouded in secrecy.” – August 17, 2015
“This deal has been signed by the most important nations in the world today, including China and Russia. It was unlikely to get and keep China and Russia with France, Great Britain, and Germany negotiating together for a deal with Iran. To walk away now from this deal is to walk alone. That would be worth it if Iran had not surrendered its ability to walk toward a nuclear weapon. If, despite the transparency to which Iran has submitted, it reverts to cheating, as it has done before, all of the options we now possess remain. It is Iran that has much to lose by trying to subvert the deal. We will only lose if we insist on an impossible deal that isolates the U.S. from allies and opponents alike and leaves the U.S. alone to take the blame for Iran’s continuing path to nuclear weapons. This is an asymmetrical deal. Unlike Iran, the deal leaves the P5+1 in no worse position than we are in today. Therefore, I believe that history will vindicate the Iran nuclear agreement, and I strongly support it.” - September 2, 2015
"The best way to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program is through a comprehensive, international agreement like this one. We will get a chance to talk about the details in the days ahead, but I hope my colleagues in Congress don't let partisan politics stand in the way of approving what could be a historic deal to stop the spread of nuclear weapons." – July 14, 2015
“The alternatives to this deal simply aren’t acceptable—either continuing to stay in the dark about what Iran is doing or going down the road to potential military action. This plan represents the best way forward.” –August 20, 2015
U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40)*
“After careful study of public and classified information, extensive discussions with people on both sides of the issue, and much thought and deliberation, I have concluded that supporting the Iran deal is the best option that we have at this time to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. While this deal is not perfect, I believe it offers us the best possible chance to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. I am also concerned that if the United States does not support the deal, that could potentially isolate us from our partners who have given all indications that they are not prepared to walk away from the deal.
However, if this deal is approved, we will still have to exercise ongoing vigilance. If we develop suspicions that Iran is violating the terms of the deal, we will have to take the necessary steps to ensure Iran's compliance. And we will have to continue working with our allies in the region – including our greatest ally, Israel – to keep moving the Middle East on a path towards peace and stability.” – August 28, 2015
“While this is not a perfect deal, I believe that the United States, Israel, and the world are in a stronger position with this deal than without it. This agreement is our best option to deny Iran a pathway to a nuclear weapon.” – August 26, 2015
“Today, the Obama administration, faced with the real threat of a nuclear weaponized Iran, has chosen instead the path of diplomacy, the path of peace. This historic negotiation holds out the hope of a more stable, nuclear weapon free region that makes all the world safer. I am proud to support it." – July 20, 2015
“I remain as committed as ever to ensuring that Iran never develops or obtains a nuclear weapon. I’ve received preliminary briefings on the terms of this deal and I look forward to studying the agreement in depth with other Members of Congress and the Obama Administration in the weeks to come. However, it appears that the deal has met our goal: creating a verifiable, enforceable agreement that closes off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon for decades to come.” – July 14, 2015
“I commend the efforts of President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Moniz and their team in securing a diplomatic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. To be sure, it is not in the interest of the United States or its allies for Iran to ever develop a nuclear weapon. I agree with President Obama that no deal is better than a bad deal and it is through that prism that I will thoroughly review and evaluate this agreement. We cannot sign any agreement with Iran based on trust, nor should sanctions be loosed unless Iran meets its obligations and such compliance can be verified. We must remain ever vigilant in our insistence that Iran never reaches nuclear capability.” – July 14, 2015
“After careful consideration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as well as my constituents’ views and experts’ opinions, I will support the Iran nuclear agreement. The agreement was negotiated through an international effort by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran. This deal was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council. It is clear to me that this is the most responsible action that the United States and the international community can take to achieve our goal of ensuring that Iran is unable to build a nuclear weapon.” – August 12, 2015
“After careful review, I have concluded that this agreement accomplishes the difficult objective we have been working towards for years: a verifiable way to halt Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. I did not come to this decision lightly. The implications of this decision are profound for the region, the United States, and the world. This is one of the most important votes I will ever cast. To come to this decision I attended scores of hearings, classified briefings, and met with U.S. allies, my Republican and Democratic colleagues, foreign policy experts, nongovernmental groups, the military and intelligence communities, and my constituents. I also met with the President for over two hours to discuss this deal.
“Despite years of harsh sanctions, Iran’s nuclear program continued to progress. It is clear that the only way to halt Iran’s program is military action or diplomacy. I choose diplomacy. Like all serious negotiations, compromises were made on all sides, but the final product of these negotiations is the most extensive nuclear verification scheme ever devised.”
U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-NV-01)*
“In order for the U.S. to maintain a credible leadership role in the international community, the President must operate from a position of strength should he need to bring our partners back to the table to reimpose sanctions or, God forbid, lead them into battle if Iran violates the terms of the agreement. That is why I am voting yes.
But I want to send a strong message to this administration and the next that we must hold Iran to the words in the preface and the preamble of the agreement that “under no circumstances will Iran EVER (emphasis added) seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons.” We must shore up our allies in the Middle East, especially Israel, who will now have to contend with a more powerful, ever threatening, Iran. We must strengthen our intelligence network to reinforce IAEA’s monitoring program to ensure that Iran does not cheat. And we must double down on our efforts to curtail Iran’s support of terrorist activities around the world.” – September 11, 2015
“We cannot allow Iran to come any closer to acquiring the materials to build a nuclear weapon. I strongly believe this historic agreement takes important steps to advance the national security interests of the United States and those of our allies and partners overseas.
I do not believe Congress should reject this agreement, and I will oppose any effort in Congress to block its implementation.” – August 12, 2015
“In analyzing this agreement, my fundamental and primary concern was ensuring we stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. An Iran with a nuclear bomb would present an existential threat to Israel, be a destabilizing game changer for the entire region and directly threaten and undermine U.S. security interests. It is a scenario that the world absolutely must avoid. After careful reflection, I have concluded that the JCPOA is our best option for preventing Iran from acquiring the materials needed to develop a nuclear bomb. – August 31, 2015
“I look forward to reviewing in detail the deal our nation’s top negotiators and diplomats have put forward with Iran after months of tireless work. As I have said throughout the negotiations, any deal must ensure that Iran can never achieve their goal of developing a nuclear weapon.” – July 14, 2015
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)*
“Iran could move in any direction over the next 15 years, and the post-agreement dynamics in Iran could play out in a number of ways. We are aware of the less benign scenarios. But there’s also the scenario in which the agreement helps to amplify the voices of those in Iran who want peace and regional and international accommodation.
And I have hope with respect to this latter possibility. And I’ll tell you why. It is because more than half the population of Iran today -- almost 55 percent – is under 30 years old, and the youth unemployment rate is somewhere between 27 and 40 percent.
I have hope that these young people, given the opportunity to work, to achieve prosperity, and to live peacefully, will, in fact help animate the kind of change in Iran that will indeed move it to become a responsible member of the world community.” –September 11, 2015
“I have long said that in order to garner my support, any final agreement must sufficiently weaken Iran’s nuclear infrastructure such that it cannot develop a weapon, and have an inspection and sanctions regime that ensures any violation of the deal’s terms will be detected and punished. This agreement meets that first, critical standard.” – August 27, 2015
“I believe that the JCPOA is the best option for our national security and international stability. The agreement – which is based on verification, not trust – blocks the pathways for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, ensures greater stability in the Middle East, and decreases the possibility of armed conflict. I do not want to alienate the United States from the international community and our allies, and we cannot afford to enter into another war. I cannot in good conscience send more women and men to war, and this country, especially my constituents, cannot afford the economic consequences of another military engagement. No deal is perfect but now is the time for diplomacy.” – September 3, 2015
“We believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that the United States and our P5+1 partners negotiated with the government of Iran is the most viable means to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and protect the security of the United States, Israel and other allies. We are writing to you as former Members of Congress to urge your support of this historic agreement.”– August 31, 2015
“The agreement—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons and promptly detecting and deterring possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons in the future…Some critics of this deal in the United States may still believe that by rejecting the agreement and increasing sanctions pressure on Iran, the United States can somehow coerce the leaders in Tehran to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program or agree to better terms. That is a dangerous illusion. There is no better deal on the horizon…In the coming weeks, members of the U.S Congress on both sides of the aisle should carefully examine this complex agreement, evaluate its benefits, and evaluate the alternatives. This is the time to seize—not squander—the chance to put in place an effective, long-term, verifiable deal that blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons.” – July 14, 2015
“Members of Congress opposing the Iranian nuclear deal don’t seem to care that it’s a multilateral agreement their longest-serving European allies support. Europeans are far from impressed that the US legislature has taken hostage the diplomatic roadmap on the nuclear file that they played a critical role in negotiating. GOP Republicans have clearly attempted to shift the debate from a vote on the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) announced last week to one on the US presidential legacy and US-Iran relations. If Congress derails the JCPOA before it’s even had a chance to be implemented, it will likely have troubling ramifications for US relations with a long-term ally, Europe, particularly on future sanctions.” – July 24, 2015
Kate Gould, Legislative associate for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation
“The Iran deal reached in Vienna is a historic victory. Exquisite diplomacy has delivered Washington and Tehran from years of teetering on the brink of war to one of the greatest diplomatic achievements of the nuclear age. This deal seals off Tehran's potential pathways to a nuclear weapon and subjects Iran to a robust transparency and inspection regime. Now, every member of Congress will have the opportunity to stand on the right side of history and support this deal. This September, both chambers of Congress are expected to vote on whether this agreement will go forward. Lawmakers have the responsibility to ensure that this landmark diplomatic achievement is protected from the hardliners in the U.S., Iran and elsewhere who are working to sabotage this agreement before the ink has dried. This vote may be the single biggest vote on war and peace of the decade.” – July 14, 2015
Twenty-nine of the nation’s top scientists wrote to President Obama in support of the deal, which calls for Iran to curb its nuclear program and allow inspections in return for an end to sanctions. – August 8, 2015
"Those that are also opposed also talk about, 'Oh, there's only 10 or 15 years until the Iranians are allowed to build a nuclear weapon.' So many things can happen," she said. "The Middle East is incredibly volatile, and so we need to take this moment [to] tell our elected officials we want peace and we want to have this deal go through." – July 29, 2015
Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security
“The nuclear agreement reached in Vienna creates an unprecedented opportunity for the United States to deter Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and increase stability in the Middle East. It is also a far better option than the realistic alternatives. The agreement will create conditions such that it will be extraordinarily difficult for Iran to use its existing facilities to build nuclear weapons without being caught and stopped in time…The deal will not only reduce the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran but also of possible military conflict. Failure to reach an agreement would not inevitably mean war, but it would significantly increase the risk of such an outcome over time… In the end, a nuclear agreement is a net benefit to America’s national security and far superior to the alternative. It also has the potential to dramatically and positively reshape the international landscape, but only if the United States pursues the right set of policies after a deal to consolidate gains and mitigate risks.” – July 14, 2015
“Iran and a U.S.-led consortium of the world’s top powers have achieved a historic agreement that should keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons for at least a decade and could lay the basis for broader cooperation on the multiple crises roiling the Middle East.” – July 14, 2015
Ariane Tabatabai, visiting assistant professor in the Security Studies Program at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
“After months of intense negotiations and several extensions, Iran and six world powers finally reached a comprehensive nuclear deal on Tuesday in Vienna. The historic agreement accomplishes several things that benefit the non-proliferation regime and international security. It curbs Iran’s nuclear activities and allows the international community to verify that Tehran’s program is peaceful. In doing so, the deal stops a 10th country from developing nuclear weapons. It also allows Iran to take steps toward normalizing its political and economic relationship with the rest of the world. In short, both sides have reason to celebrate.” – July 13, 2015
“… Iran and the world’s six major powers announced a nuclear deal in Vienna this morning…the euphoria of epic diplomacy prevailed. For the first time in decades, a country on the verge of obtaining of a nuclear weapon has been forced to stop its program, at least for a while.” – July 14, 2015
More Than 70 Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Announce Support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
“When implemented, the JCPOA will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's enrichment facilities and research and development, including advanced centrifuge research and deployment. Taken in combination with stringent limitations on Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile, these restrictions ensure that Iran’s capability to produce enough bomb-grade uranium sufficient for one weapon would be extended to approximately 12 months for a decade or more.” – August 18, 2015
75 nonproliferation experts statement, which included the following women, in addition to some listed above:
- Avis Bohlen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, U.S. Department of State
- Susan F. Burk, former Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State
- Sandra Ionno Butcher, Executive Director, Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs (International)*
- Dina Esfandiary, MacArthur Fellow, Centre for Science and Security Studies, Department of War Studies, Kings College London
- Laicie Heeley, Fellow, Stimson Center*
- Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs**
- Togzhan Kassenova, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*
- Duyeon Kim, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program and Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*
- Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, Stimson Center*
- Jan Lodal, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense
- Jessica T. Mathews, Distinguished Fellow, former President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation,* and former section head for nonproliferation and policymaking in the Office of Legal Affairs of the IAEA (1985-2013)
- Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative*
- Jacqueline Shire, former member of United Nations Panel of Experts (Iran) established under Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010)
- Sharon Squassoni, Senior Fellow and Director, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies*
- Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State, seven-term Member of House of Representatives, and Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (2006-2009)
*Institution listed for identification purposes only
"As an Iranian-American woman, I'm proud that two sides with severed ties and no trust were able to come to a historical agreement and choose peace through diplomacy instead of a escalations of hostilities, possibly leading to war," she said in an email interview. "After 35 years of animosity and distrust, this is a step forward in U.S.-Iran relations. Once trust can be established, this is a confidence building step that if maintained, can lead to a warming of relations. Not only will both countries benefit from the de-escalation of tensions, but the world, as it creates barriers to the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran. Ultimately, Iran will benefit more as it lays the groundwork to open up the country's economy to the world. The international community can look at this as an example of how diplomacy is possible." – July 15, 2015
"This is a historic agreement that I hope will pave the way for a better future for millions of Iranians who have been suffering from sanctions and isolation," she said in an email interview. "Iranians have never had a say regarding the nuclear program but they have suffered from the consequences of the decisions made by their leaders. This deal could decrease tensions between the United States and Iran. But there are still many issues between the two countries so I don't think the two countries will become friends or allies as a result of the deal. Also, I don't think Iranian hardliners and Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei want to see a normalization of ties with the United States, they're concerned that any opening up of the atmosphere will threaten their power and authority." – July 15, 2015
"I am very happy like almost any other Iranian that I know. I think both sides--President Rouhani and President Obama--were very committed to resolving the issue and reaching an agreement. It is a process and it took a while. It took them almost two years. It is like a miracle . . . The deal is beneficial for Iran from an economic perspective because the Iranian economy has suffered from sanctions. But politically, and from a security and peace perspective, I think everyone in the negotiations is benefiting, especially the U.S . . . If these negotiations had failed, there was a threat of war or a military intervention and that would have to be mainly on the side of the U.S." – July 15, 2015
"I feel happy, mostly relieved," she said in an email interview. "Happy for the Iranian people who suffered crippling sanctions and economic hardships during the last decade and relieved because the shadow of a war is over. I'm happy for the winning of the peace . . . After 30 years of a hostile relationship between two countries, Iranian and American foreign ministers sat around the same table, talked with each other and shook each other's hands, something that my generation (who were born and raised after the 1979 Revolution) never had witnessed and never could imagine. So, if this could happen, the normalization could happen too . . . The sanctions had a catastrophic impact on ordinary Iranians. Women suffered immensely. Lack of medicines and skyrocketing prices of essential goods limited their abilities to manage their families and women suffer from poverty more than others. So, I believe Iranians will benefit economically and financially from the sanctions relief. Human rights and women's rights still remain a legitimate concern for me, as a women's rights advocate. Does the U.S.-Iran normal relationship improve Iranian's human rights? I don't have an answer for it. This one needs more effort from within Iran and so far, we haven't witnessed any significant shift by the Iranian government in this area." – July 15, 2015
"I am very happy about the deal," she said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. "For Iranians, especially for civil society activists, the issue of sanctions has been a huge obstacle that they have spoken out against for some time and for impacting negatively mostly the Iranian population: women, vulnerable groups, the middle-class. I think for my part--and the part of many of my colleagues that I am in touch with inside of the country--we are very happy and eager to have the sanctions end. I think it is a first step for many things. One is a possible normalization of relations between Iran and the West. But I would like to emphasize more that it is a first step for the civil society to become active inside of Iran. The sanctions impacted very negatively the civil society because they impacted negatively the economic situation so many of the activists inside the country who work on a volunteer basis were unable to engage in civil society . . . I think it is a win-win situation. It is always a win-win situation when you resolve conflicts through diplomacy. We need to have stability in the Middle East and the region and I think this deal will help with that stability." – July 15, 2015
“This agreement is in all women’s interest. We do not need another needless war. Women have so many issues facing us that we need Congress to address and fund adequately. A potential war with Iran would put our work on hold — or even move us backward.” – August 24, 2015
“Accepting constraints on U.S. power does not mean we cannot and should not lead in the world — far from it. But it means we have to lead with diplomacy as much as force, and that diplomacy requires compromise, negotiation rather than dictation. Which brings us back to the beginning. The deal on the table is the best that the Obama administration could do and is the only deal that will be on the table. Pretending otherwise risks landing us in what truly would be the worst of all possible worlds: a richer Iran trading with everyone but us and only two months away from a bomb.” – August 20, 2015