Should Congress Approve the Iran Deal?

Foreign Affairs' Brain Trust Weighs In

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a pause as he testifies before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Iran nuclear agreement in Washington, July 28, 2015. Carlos Barria / Reuters

We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of pieces on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. To complement these individual articles, we decided to ask a broad pool of experts for their take. As with previous surveys, we approached dozens of authorities with deep specialized expertise relevant to the question at hand, together with a few leading generalists in the field. Participants were asked to state whether they agreed or disagreed with a proposition and to rate their confidence level in their opinion; the answers from those who responded are below:

Congress should approve the JCPOA.


Iran Deal Poll Results

Full Responses:

ELLIOTT ABRAMS is Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Strongly Disagree, Confidence Level 10       
Congressional disapproval serves several purposes. It reflects the views of the majority of Americans, who appear to think this is a bad deal. It would be a reminder that U.S. President Barack Obama has refused to submit this critical arms pact as a treaty, which he should have done. It paves the way for possible renegotiation under another president, because it helps delegitimize the deal Obama made. It is a reminder of the deal’s many weaknesses—from the weak verification provisions to the cash bonanza provided to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror—and therefore a warning that the United States must act to address them. Disapproval is the first step toward remediation.

GRAHAM ALLISON is Professor of Government and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Strongly Agree, Confidence Level 10
The overriding objective of the United States has been to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. This agreement achieves that objective by stopping Iran verifiably short of a bomb. In fact, by eliminating two-thirds of Iran’s current centrifuges and 98 percent of its enriched-uranium stockpile, the agreement pushes Iran back at least a year from a bomb. If from that point, Iran should seek

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