Nearly 200 retired U.S. military generals and admirals sent a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, asking them to vote down the Iran nuclear deal.
According to The Washington Post
, which obtained a copy of the letter
, many of the signees have worked in the White House going back three decades.
The letter was addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
"As you know, on July 14, 2015, the United States and five other nations announced that a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reached with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons," the letter reads.
"In our judgment as former senior military officers, the agreement will not have that effect. 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. In this and other respects, the JCPOA would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.
"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."
Warning that Iran could have nuclear weapons in 10 years, the group of retired military officials says it's "unconscionable" that the Iran agreement will provide Iran with around $150 billion in sanctions relief.
"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," the letter reads.
"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 Iran deal struck last month
is designed to curb Iran's nuclear program and prevent it from building a nuclear weapon. But critics of the deal say it's not going to work.
"We have given up making the Iranians come clean about the previous military dimensions of their [nuclear] program," retired Gen. Michael Hayden told Newsmax TV
"We know they had one, they've lied about it. We're giving them a hall pass on this and moving on."
A search of the letter revealed that Hayden is not one of the 190 signees.
A side deal to the agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will allow Iran to provide its own inspectors at the Parchin nuclear site
, where foreign officials have long suspected the Iranians have worked to develop nuclear weapons.
Several lawmakers have publicly expressed their opposition to the Iran deal
, including Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.
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