Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Letter to Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ)

Dear Senator Menendez,

       I write as your constituent to urge you to give your support to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated between the P5+1 nations and Iran. You have been admirably diligent in querying our diplomats and military personnel on this matter, and have expressed reservations about the plan’s implementation. It would be a misuse of your office, however, to allow those reservations to mature into outright opposition to the plan.
       In assessing the merits of the plan, it must not be weighed against some hypothetical ideal, but against the actual conditions of the current situation. Thus though the plan’s critics complain that the inspection regime it establishes does not provide the U.S. and its allies with enough access or information, one can not deny that it will provide us with vastly more access and information than we have right now. If we have managed to monitor and mobilize against Iran’s nuclear program under current conditions, it stands to reason that we will be that much more empowered to do so under the framework the plan would establish.
      In like manner, though the plan’s critics complain that it does not create sufficient restrictions on Iran’s refinement of nuclear material, it in fact creates greater restrictions than have ever been imposed up to this point. It is thus not true that, as you said to the press, “in time…they will have the option if they choose to ultimately move toward a nuclear weapon, and our choices then will be even more limited than they are today.” If the Iranians choose to ramp up their refinement of uranium after the restrictions imposed by the Joint Plan expire, the U.S. will be in a better position to detect such action because of the inspection regime established by the accord. Moreover, because the accord mandates the surrender of stockpiled uranium and the dismantling of centrifuges, if Iran moves toward a nuclear weapon after implementation of the Joint Plan it will require a full year to do so rather than three months as is currently the case. At that point the U.S. will thus have more information, more time, and the support of the same allies that joined in the negotiation of the Joint Plan. How then can you argue that the accord leaves the U.S with fewer options rather than more?
        In point of fact, the only way that the U.S. can limit our options is to scuttle the Joint Plan before it has been given an opportunity to work. This accord required the building and maintenance of a broad and diverse coalition of allies. If it is abandoned now the U.S. will never be able to reconstruct those ties, and will find all of our future efforts at diplomatic leadership hampered by well-deserved skepticism and disenchantment on the part of the international community.
            The Joint Plan is the best hope to foreclose the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran through diplomatic means. It is thus imperative that it be implemented, for the sake of the peace and security of the U.S., of our allies, and of the world at large. I urge you to mobilize the full power of your office in support of this initiative. In any case I hope that this letter finds you well, and I thank you for your attention on this matter.


                                                            Andrew Meyer

No comments: