The battle for Congress’ vote on the Iran nuclear deal wages on. Some 200 former US military leaders stated opposition to the accord, saying it threatens national security.
A group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging American lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, saying it threatens national security, the Washington Post reports.
Supporters and opponents of the deal are waging a vigorous battle over the votes of congressmen, who are slated to vote next month on the deal secured by President Barack Obama, which is perceived by his backers as the crown jewel of his foreign policy.
In the latest development, retired senior military officers, including many who had worked in the White House during various administrations dating back to the 1980s, penned a letter addressed to Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House.
The letter is a response to a previous one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers expressing support for the deal, the Post explains.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” Wednesday’s letter states.
“In our judgment as former senior military officers…removing sanctions on Iran and releasing billions of dollars to its regime over the next ten years is inimical to the security of Israel and the Middle East,” it continues.
Citing issues such as limited inspections, Iran’s tendency to violate agreements and the fact that the deal does not completely stop Iran from acquiring a bomb, the letter states that “the JCPOA [nuclear agreement] would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.”
“In summary, this agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies. In our professional opinion, far from being an alternative to war, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action makes it likely that the war the Iranian regime has waged against us since 1979 will continue, with far higher risks to our national security interests. Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter concludes.
‘Most Dangerous Nuclear Accord in US History’
The signatories include retired generals and flag officers from every branch of service. One is retired Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who was deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and is now executive vice president of the Family Research Council.
Retired Vice Adm. John Poindexter also fixed his name to the missive as well as retired Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, who were involved in the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration, according to which arms were sold to Iran, in violation of the arms embargo, in order to fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Many of the letter’s signatories served in the White House under both Democratic and Republian administrations. “The only thing they appear to have in common is that they consider the Iran nuclear deal a threat to US interests in the region and its own national security,” the Post states.
Leon A. “Bud” Edney, a retired admiral who served as vice chief of naval operations, initiated the letter after reading the previous one written by other retired officers in support of the agreement.
“I looked at the letter they published and thought it was very weak,” Edney is quoted as saying by the Post. “I just don’t agree with it.” He passed the letter on to colleagues, who shared it with others. The number of signatories to the responding letter almost doubled between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
“I don’t think this letter will sway anything,” Edney conceded. “It’s just the opinion of people who have served their country. It’s an alternative view to what I consider a very weak letter put out by the administration, implying generals and admirals support this agreement. But I don’t think it will have any impact.”
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, who was vice commander of US Air Forces in Europe, said he considers the agreement “the most dangerous nuclear accord in US history.”
“What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians,” he said. “They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons. Why would we do that?”
McInerney said he believes that most retired general officers do not support the agreement but that not all agreed to sign the letter, fearing negative career repercussions.
By: United with Israel Staff
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