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60 senior US national security leaders support Iran deal

Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, is one of 60 national security leaders who signed a letter in support of the nuclear deal with Iran.Cliff Owen/Associated Press/File 2015

WASHINGTON — Sixty national security leaders, ambassadors, military leaders and former Cabinet secretaries signed a letter released on Monday in support of the nuclear deal with Iran.

The bipartisan group of signatories includes former secretary of state Madeleine Albright; former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft; former senators Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Tom Daschle, Carl Levin, and George Mitchell; former defense official Michele Flournoy; and Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador to Israel, Russia, India and the United Nations.

‘‘No agreement between multiple parties can be a perfect agreement without risks,’’ the letter said. ‘‘We believe without this agreement, the risks to the security of the US and its friends would be far greater. We have also not heard any viable alternatives from those who oppose the implementation’’ of the deal.


The US and five other world powers reached an agreement last week with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The Security Council unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal Monday and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of UN sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy.

The White House has been heavily lobbying Congress, which has 60 days to review the agreement, to vote to approve or disapprove of the deal, or take no action.

President Obama said the UN Security Council’s vote Monday to approve the Iran nuclear deal shows there is a broad consensus it is the best way to ensure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. He said he is hopeful that Congress “will pay attention’’ to that consensus.

House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, has said the Republican-controlled Congress will probably vote to deny Obama the ability to lift numerous financial and other restrictions Iran faces. Obama has pledged to veto any bill rejecting the agreement.

In Boston, Senator Elizabeth Warren came out in support of the deal, calling it ‘‘our best chance to hold Iran to no nuclear weapons.’’