Peter & Anthony Beilenson: Iran Nuclear Agreement a Move Towards Peace in the Middle East

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The pending nuclear agreement between Iran and the United States achieves a critical goal: preventing Iran from creating nuclear weapons, a crucial ingredient in avoiding potentially catastrophic escalations of conflicts in the Middle East.

The agreement, which is still subject to Congressional oversight, allows Iran to maintain its nuclear facilities for research.  This agreement subjects Iran’s regime to the most intrusive inspections in history and leaves nothing to trust. It decreases the number of Iranian centrifuges, while also banning the enrichment of uranium at important facilities, thus reducing the chances of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

While the negotiations have already faced harsh criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and groups like AIPAC, other pro-Israel organizations, like J-Street, support it.

While the complete elimination of Iran’s nuclear program is not realistic, the conditions of this agreement, which greatly diminish Iran’s capacity to create weapons while leaving nuclear research intact, both make Israel safer and fosters trust with the West.

As Jewish-Americans, whose family has a major hospital outside of Tel Aviv named for them, we believe in a strong and safe Israel.  Blocking this agreement does the exact opposite: it virtually assures that Iran will produce nuclear weapons within a few months time (indeed, the United States government estimates that Iran is currently capable of making a bomb in 3-6 months).  This deal is the most direct, workable route to blocking every pathway Iran has to build nuclear bombs.

After intense work, international negotiators have reached a tough compact to block Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  This agreement with Iran is a good deal for both Israel and the United States.  Anything we can do to decrease the chances of Iran building nuclear weapons and thus destabilizing the region can only make the United States and its allies safer. 

Peter Beilenson, MD, MPH is the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner and Howard County Health Director

Anthony Beilenson was a member of the United States House of Representatives from California from 1977-1997, and served as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee

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