Setting the Record Straight: As foes of the Iran deal strike back

May 23, 2016

An article published by AP reporter Bradley Klapper on May 20 implies that there is something nefarious to Ploughshares Fund’s work supporting independent media to report on nuclear weapons threats.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is common practice for foundations to fund media coverage of under-reported stories and perspectives. For some, this might be global health, poverty or the impact of conflict on civilians. For Ploughshares Fund, this means bringing much-needed attention to the dangers of nuclear weapons. Our support of independent media such as NPR and PRI does not influence the editorial content of their coverage in any way, nor would we want it to.

Ploughshares Fund has been making the world safer since the height of the Cold War. The core of our mission was and is to peacefully reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons threats. The media is essential to informing and educating Americans of the risks that nuclear weapons – and dangerous nuclear weapon policies – pose to humanity.

Mr. Klapper’s piece also insinuates that there is something underhanded about funding security experts, peace advocates, and when relevant, regional experts. No matter what the opponents of the Iran deal say, our work is not about politics. It’s about the future safety and security of our country, and of the world.

This article was no doubt influenced by a recent New York Times Magazine article that presents a grossly skewed version of reality as many – including members of Congress – have asserted. The author, David Samuels, spun the facts and quotes to feed his own fictional narrative. Preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb has been a key goal of Ploughshares Fund and many other security experts for decades. To suggest otherwise – as Samuels did – is absurd. Our expertise in this field is nationally recognized. We were promoting negotiations long before this administration took office.

Ploughshares Fund is firmly nonpartisan. Our support of the Iran deal was based on policy, not politics. We back the administration when they’re right, we oppose them when they’re wrong. We supported the administration’s New START Treaty with Russia and the historic Iran agreement because they make America safer. We oppose the administration’s $1 trillion plan to build new nuclear weapons because it makes the world more dangerous. We always act independently based on our own mission to reduce nuclear threats. We will continue to do so – no matter who is in the Oval Office.