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National security veterans urge Trump not to scrap Iran nuclear deal

A bipartisan group of more than 100 US national security experts -- including nearly 50 retired military officers and...

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 7:35 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 7:35 PM

A bipartisan group of more than 100 US national security experts -- including nearly 50 retired military officers and more than 30 former ambassadors -- is urging President Donald Trump to remain in the Iran nuclear deal as sources say it is becoming increasingly likely he will withdraw.

The statement titled "Keep the Iran deal -- 10 Good Reasons Why" calls on Trump to "maintain the US commitment to the Iran nuclear deal" as doing so will "strengthen America's hand in dealing with North Korea, as well as Iran, and help maintain the reliability of America's word and influence as a world leader."

"Ditching it would serve no national security purpose," the statement said.

Penned by a group that calls itself the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon, the coordinated message comes as US officials are taking a two-track approach to the deal -- negotiating with allies to make changes demanded by Trump even as they prepare to walk away from the international agreement.

Trump set a May 12 deadline -- the next date by which he has to waive sanctions against Iran or leave the deal -- for the US and its European allies to agree on changes to address what he sees as its flaws.

The President's thinking, officials say, is that if the US and Europe are united on amending the deal, the other signatories -- Russia and China -- will come along, and Iran will have no choice but to comply.

But Trump himself has dismissed the deal as "terrible," and recent changes within the administration giving Iran hawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo significant influence on the issue, mean many officials in the US and Europe are bracing for Washington to abandon the agreement.

Against that backdrop, US officials leading the negotiations with European allies say that at the same time, they are readying contingency plans should Trump decide to pull the US out.

By releasing a joint statement on Monday, the group of more than 100 national security veterans join a shrinking contingency within the administration that has advised the President to remain in the deal -- which notably includes Defense Secretary James Mattis.

The group argues that maintaining a US commitment to the deal will not only enhance US and regional security by implementing unprecedented international monitoring of Iran's nuclear program but will also set a precedent for future dealings with emerging threats like North Korea.

"North Korea could not claim that the US abrogates agreements without cause and would be more likely to negotiate an end to its nuclear program," the statement said.

Remaining in the accord will also help strengthen US leadership on the world stage and bolster relations with key European allies, the group argues.

"US relations with major European allies, who all oppose US withdrawal, would be preserved for advancing US national security interests beyond the nuclear deal," the statement said. "The US will build credibility and retain influence with its negotiating partners to ensure strict implementation with the agreement, be able to lead efforts to strengthen it, or garner strong support for imposing additional sanctions if necessary."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 25208

Reported Deaths: 1060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8514616
Ramsey3075128
Stearns203013
Nobles15445
Anoka142970
Dakota134957
Washington64532
Olmsted63410
Kandiyohi4971
Rice4622
Scott4362
Clay42728
Mower3452
Wright3202
Todd3190
Sherburne2462
Carver2182
Benton1783
Steele1600
Blue Earth1420
Martin1325
Freeborn1250
St. Louis11814
Pine890
Unassigned8810
Nicollet8810
Winona8015
Cottonwood760
Watonwan750
Carlton750
Crow Wing712
Otter Tail700
Goodhue683
Chisago621
Polk612
Lyon570
Itasca5510
Dodge530
Chippewa511
Morrison470
Meeker450
Douglas440
Le Sueur441
Becker400
Murray390
Jackson390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca260
Rock220
Swift190
Mille Lacs191
Pennington190
Faribault190
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Fillmore171
Sibley160
Brown162
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Cass142
Norman130
Marshall120
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Koochiching90
Pope90
Aitkin80
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Big Stone60
Lincoln50
Redwood50
Renville50
Red Lake40
Grant40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Houston20
Hubbard20
Roseau20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19669

Reported Deaths: 555
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4236133
Woodbury276136
Black Hawk174745
Linn95379
Dallas91623
Marshall89616
Buena Vista8100
Johnson6149
Wapello59712
Muscatine55741
Crawford5282
Tama40327
Scott36110
Dubuque34619
Louisa34511
Sioux2830
Pottawattamie2698
Jasper26017
Washington1898
Wright1780
Warren1350
Plymouth1332
Allamakee1204
Story1161
Mahaska9510
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines651
Boone650
Clinton641
Taylor560
Clarke560
Guthrie513
Cedar481
Benton431
Hamilton430
Webster421
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Clayton343
Osceola340
Buchanan330
Iowa330
Marion320
Cherokee310
Jefferson300
Cerro Gordo291
Madison292
Lee270
Fayette270
Monona250
Winneshiek240
Lyon240
Davis230
Harrison230
Dickinson210
Sac200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Humboldt181
Clay170
Delaware171
Hardin170
Butler171
Lucas170
Emmet160
Hancock160
Appanoose143
Ida140
Page140
Franklin140
Keokuk140
Pocahontas130
Greene130
Howard120
Cass120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Carroll110
Winnebago110
Chickasaw100
Kossuth100
Adair90
Van Buren90
Union90
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Adams70
Palo Alto70
Fremont40
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
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Unassigned10
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