Indianapolis, Ind. – Former U.S. Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sam Nunn (D-GA) urged Congress to support the proposed Iran nuclear agreement, writing in an op-ed published this week in Politico, “Although there are no absolute guarantees, nor can there be in diplomatic accords, our bottom line is that the agreement makes it far less likely that the Iranians will acquire a nuclear weapon over the next 15 years… Our own conviction is that this agreement represents our best chance to stop an Iranian bomb without another war in the Middle East.” U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently announced he will support the proposed Iran nuclear agreement after an exhaustive assessment and listening to the views of Hoosiers across Indiana, including input from Lugar.
Lugar, who served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, forged a bipartisan relationship with Nunn to author landmark legislation to dismantle and destroy weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union, signed in 1991. The Senators point to their experience negotiating the arms control agreement to address the critics of the Iran nuclear agreement, writing: “We have heard critics suggest that Iran would have agreed to entirely dismantle its nuclear enrichment facilities and stop all activities related to its civil nuclear program if only the U.S. had been tougher in negotiations. But had the U.S. taken such an approach in the early 1990s, we would not have encouraged and helped Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus safely accelerate the destruction of their weapons and materials of mass destruction.” The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act remains in effect today, and Lugar continues to advance efforts on nuclear non-proliferation through The Lugar Center.
To read the full op-ed, click here.
Donnelly has long-supported diplomatic efforts, including both tough sanctions and the P5+1 negotiations, to address the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. He has cosponsored bipartisan legislation imposing sanctions on Iran in Congress, including the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015. In February, Donnelly joined a bipartisan coalition, including six Democratic and six Republican senators, to introduce the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law, requiring that Congress review and approve or disapprove the Iran deal before it can be implemented.