Friday, September 11, 2015

Cameron, Hollande and Merkel: Why we support the Iran deal

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron. (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: EPA/YOAN VALAT; REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch; ablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

By David Cameron, François Hollande and Angela Merkel September 10 at 1:02 PM

(David Cameron, François Hollande and Angela Merkel are, respectively, the prime minister of Britain, the president of France and the chancellor of Germany.)

The U.S. Congress is voting this week on whether to support the agreement that our countries, along with the United States, Russia and China, reached with Iran to curb its nuclear program. This is an important moment. It is a crucial opportunity at a time of heightened global uncertainty to show what diplomacy can achieve.

Iran’s nuclear program has been a source of concern for more than a decade. Iran claimed that its ambitions were purely civil: All countries have the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But as recently as two years ago, we faced an alarming expansion in Iran’s program: a growing stockpile of uranium, some of it enriched up to 20 percent; an increase in the number of centrifuges, including more powerful new-generation machines; a deeply bunkered enrichment facility at Fordow; and the near completion of a research reactor at Arak capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. And, of course, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had limited visibility of some aspects of Iran’s program.

This posed a serious threat — not only to the security of Iran’s neighbors and for Israel, but also to our countries. A nuclear arms race in the Middle East would have added a disastrous new element to an already unstable region.

(More here.)

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