Ninety-six of the United States' leading scientists—including 19 Nobel Prize laureates and 69 members of the National Academies—issued a letter to the U.S. Congress on Monday, October 30, urging preservation of the Iran nuclear agreement.

The letter, addressed to the Senate and House leaders of both parties, stated that "Congress should act to ensure that the United States remains a party to the agreement," and outlined the ways in which the agreement limited Iran's nuclear program. The letter also supported the negotiation of a subsequent agreement to address Iran's growing missile program.

Earlier this month, President Trump refused the certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement, although he did not take action to terminate U.S. participation in the agreement. His action essentially shifts the fate of the agreement from the Executive Branch to Congress, which is now free to impose sanctions on Iran. If the Congress does so, its actions could unravel the agreement, terminating key restrictions on Iran's program that took years to negotiate.

LNSP director R. Scott Kemp, who participated in the design of the negotiating framework, was one of the five primary authors of the letter. The others include National Medal of Science and National Medal of Freedom recipient Richard L. Garwin; the former director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Robert Goldston; former U.S. Congressman and CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Rush Holt; and Princeton Professor Emeritus Frank von Hippel.

Ten MIT faculty members signed the agreement, including 2017 Nobel Prize laureate, Rainer Weiss; Institute Professor Jerome Friedman; and former Vice President of MIT, Claude Canizares.

The full text of the letter can be found here.


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AuthorLaboratory for Nuclear Security & Policy