A group of nearly 200 retired U.S. generals and flag officers sent a letter to Congressional leadership on Tuesday urging them to reject the Iran nuclear deal.
The letter says that the deal creates a decade-long path to nuclear weapons for Iran, while rewarding the Islamic Republic with "$150 billion dollars or more in the form of sanctions relief." Iran can use this cash to rebuild its military and fund terrorism in the short-term.
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"The agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons," it says. "To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal."
"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 also criticizes the inefficiency of snap back sanctions.
"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. There is no credibility within JCPOA’s inspection process or the ability to snap back sanctions once lifted, should Iran violate the agreement," the letter says.
The generals also write that the deal, far from stopping Iran from building a nuclear weapon, only gives Iran "at worst, a ready breakout option and, at best, an incipient nuclear weapons capability a decade from now."
"The agreement as constructed does not "cut off every pathway" for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal. JCPOA allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb to be preserved and enhanced. Notably, Iran is allowed to: continue to enrich uranium; develop and test advanced centrifuges; and continue work on its Arak heavy-water plutonium reactor."
The letter will likely bolster opposition to the nuclear deal, which is already toxic with the American public despite a hard sell from the Obama administration and liberal activist groups.
The full text of the letter can be read here.