76 national security experts urge Trump to keep Iran deal

76 national security experts urge Trump to keep Iran deal
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Seventy six national security experts are urging President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE to uphold the Iran nuclear deal, as he deliberates whether to tear it up or enforce the agreement.

The bipartisan group of experts argue in a new report released Monday to The New York Times that the deal, reached last July, has reduced the threat of war in the Middle East.  

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The deal relaxed sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program. 

"The deal proved that diplomacy with Iran can bear fruit despite skepticism about Iranian sincerity, the inclination of Iran’s supreme leader to abide by the deal, or the ability of Iranian hard-liners to sabotage diplomacy,” according to the report. 

Trump has said on the campaign trail that he would not uphold the deal. He has also said he would not enforce it rigorously.

In the meantime, the deal's critics and supporters have launched into overdrive, trying to sell its merits. 

The report was produced by the National Iranian American Council, which has advocated improved relations between the U.S. and Iran. It urges Trump to use the deal as the basis for cooperating with Iran on other issues, such as eliminating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

“Trump may have been critical of the Iran deal during the campaign, but he will need the deal to remain intact to achieve his other stated goals,” Trita Parsi, the president of the council, said in a statement to the Times. 

Signatories of the report include Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of international relations and history at Boston University; Lawrence Korb, a former assistant Defense secretary under President Ronald Reagan; Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Chas W. Freeman Jr., former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and assistant Defense secretary for international affairs; and Gary Sick, who served on the National Security Council under the Reagan, Ford and Carter administrations.