State of the Union Reaffirms American Commitment to Nuclear Weapons-Free Iran

January 29, 2014

Washington, DC – Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, strongly endorses President Obama’s efforts to verifiably prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. As the president explained last night during his State of the Union address, “If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.” We agree. Now is the time to end this threat, and we applaud President Obama, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry, for their strong leadership on this issue.

“Bold diplomacy has halted and begun to roll back Iran’s nuclear program, securing an outcome that pressure or military action alone could not accomplish,” said Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund. “The negotiations ahead for a comprehensive deal that verifiably keeps Iran from getting the bomb will be difficult. However, a broad consensus of national security experts agree that diplomacy is the best way to prevent an Iranian bomb and avert a disastrous war. We vigorously applaud the president’s efforts to pursue this possibility.”

Experts see three paths available for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program: secure a verifiable agreement that restricts and rolls back Iran’s ability to make a bomb; walk away from negotiations and see the sanctions regime collapse and Iran advance its nuclear program; or militarily attack Iran, damaging its facilities, but also rallying the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular regime and actually increasing the odds that Iran will dash for a bomb. 

“A growing bi-partisan group of experts agree that diplomacy is our best choice to prevent an Iranian bomb and another war in the Middle East,” said Philip Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ploughshares Fund. “We have to give the talks a chance. The Senate must stop threatening to block the President’s efforts to test this avenue.”