After serving two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as an U.S. Army Infantry Captain, I know that we need both a strong military and tough diplomatic solutions to confront Twenty-first Century adversaries like Iran.
This week, we joined with the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, to sign an historic agreement that will close off Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon and impose the most rigorous inspection and verification requirements in the history of arms control. After more than a decade of war in the Middle East it is refreshing and uplifting to see that hard-nosed American diplomacy can be effective.
Strong, pragmatic American leadership, the finest military force in the world, and – most importantly – tough diplomacy have led us to this position, and now it is up to our elected leaders in Washington to approve it.
The agreement focuses on increasing the amount of time it would take Iran to acquire enough material and build a nuclear weapon from 2-3 months to at least one year. Having this longer “breakout” period would provide the international community more time to deal with an Iranian threat and avoid a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
This agreement does not mean that America can or should trust the regime in Tehran. International inspectors will have access to every aspect of the Iranian nuclear program—we will know what they are doing and when they are doing it.
If Iran violates any of the provisions in the agreement the strict economic sanctions, which were extremely effective will go back into place. Iran will not be rewarded for bad behavior.
Nothing would be more destabilizing and threatening to the Middle East than a nuclear-armed Iran, which is why an agreement that keeps Iran from building a weapon is so critical to America and our allies in the region.
The task of approving this agreement now falls to our elected leaders in Washington. Our own Ohio legislators, Senators Portman and Brown, now have the duty to ask the tough questions and ensure that this agreement gets approved. President Eisenhower once remarked, “I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem: Is it good for America?” I hope that Senators Portman and Brown concur with me that the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.”
Once again America is at the center of the world stage. Ohio’s elected officials must display decisive leadership and put aside partisan politics for the sake of national unity. Now is the time for America, the indispensable nation, to show the world that we can achieve great things through diplomacy rather than war.