The Iran Nuclear Commitment
By the members of
Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Cooperation Circle of United Religions Initiative
A Prayer for the Iran Nuclear Deal
Each month a few diplomats, lawyers, clergy, activists, and scientists meet to counter the nuclear threat that hangs menacingly over all the earth. In our opening prayer we say, “The Beginning and the End are in your hands, O Creator of the Universe. And in our hands you have placed the fate of this planet…”
When the United States backed out of the Iran Deal, we felt as though the fate of the planet had been laid bare to a regional, perhaps, global war and even worse, to nuclear weapons’ development without verification. Such moral dereliction creates a far more dangerous world. Our argument rests on one assumption; i.e., that verification is far, far better than non-verification.
"Verification is far, far better than non-verification"
The Iran Nuclear Deal intended that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would provide intrusive inspections designed to assure the world that Iran is not now and will not in the near future produce nuclear weapons. Originally, this was signed onto by China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States (P5+1).
If the timeline of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was approaching its expiration date, then it would make sense to revisit the overall terms to see if adjustments would need to be made or if the agreement should be scrapped or modified.
If the official inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the ground in Iran, spotted alarming nuclear developments, it would make sense to revisit or scrap the JCPOA.
If the P5+1 coalition thought better of the deal, it would make sense to have responsible negotiations among all relevant parties to determine whether to revisit or scrape JCPOA.
"What has actually happened makes no sense, at all"
What has actually happened makes no sense, at all. The deal is many years from its expiration date. There have no alarm bells sounded by the IAEA inspectors. No deliberations, among relevant parties, have taken place. Nevertheless, the United States of America has singularly broken its promise and fled the scene in hasty retreat. Not to be trusted in keeping nuclear agreements!
Almost two decades ago, leaders of the United States looked at a couple of empty aluminum tubes, dismissed a comprehensive monitoring review pointing to an absence of nuclear weapons in Iraq, and decided that Iraq posed a nuclear threat to the region and to the United States. What followed was an entire destabilized region, catastrophic suffering and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Today in Iran, the leadership of the United States decided that having verification of Iran’s sensitive nuclear activities is a bad deal. The United States has chosen to show leadership by setting the stage for the demise of the JCPOA and to open the door for Iran to progress unobserved in nuclear development.
"Walking away from nuclear responsibility is not only cowardice, but the world’s greatest threat"
Years ago, the world would have been better served if comprehensive and convincing verification had been allowed to take place in Iraq before invasion. Today the world would have been better served if the P5+1 nations had continued to have comprehensive and convincing verification in Iran. Nuclear weapons are infinitely more important than political whim. Walking away from nuclear responsibility is not only cowardice, but the world’s greatest threat.
Our prayer goes on to say, “We ask for your guidance and to share in your imagination in our deliberations about the use of nuclear force. Help us to lift the fog of atomic darkness that hovers so pervasively over our Earth, Your Earth, so that soon all eyes may see life magnified by your pure light.”
The Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, Founder and President of United Religions Initiative (URI)
Signed by the members of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Cooperation Circle of URI:
- Mary Lou Anderson: Nevada Desert Experience Interfaith Peace Organization
- Jonathan Granoff: President Global Security Institute
- James Goodby: former Ambassador and American diplomat
- Thomas Graham: former Ambassador and American diplomat
- Mussie Hailu: Ambassador and Regional Dir. of URI for Africa
- David T. Ives: Prof. and Exec. Dir. Albert Schweitzer Institute, Quinnipiac U.
- Abraham Karickam: Ex. Sec. of URI’s Asia Region
- Linda Modica: Northeast Tennessee Cooperation Circle
- Mario Nicolini: Executive Director, Forum of the World's Religions - Slovakia
- William Perry: former U.S. Sec. of Defense
- Hiro Sakurai: UN Representative for Soka Gakkai Int’l
- George Shultz: former U.S. Sec. of State
- Dan Smith: Attorney, Law Office of Daniel U. Smith
- William Vendley: Sec. General of Religions for Peace
- Monica Willard: UN Representative for URI