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More than 100 ex-US ambassadors pledge backing for Iran deal

More than 100 ex-US ambassadors pledge backing for Iran deal
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A coalition of more than 100 former American diplomats is rallying behind the international accord on Iran’s nuclear power, in a boost for the Obama administration’s efforts to sell the deal to the U.S. public and Congress.

“If properly implemented, this comprehensive and rigorously negotiated agreement can be an effective instrument in arresting Iran’s nuclear program and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the volatile and vitally important region of the Middle East,” the former diplomats wrote in a letter to President Obama.

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“In our judgment the [plan] deserves Congressional support and the opportunity to show it can work,” they added. “We firmly believe that the most effective way to protect U.S. national security, and that of our allies and friends is to ensure that tough-minded diplomacy has a chance to succeed before considering other more costly and risky alternatives.”

The list of bipartisan signatories includes former officials tasked with representing the U.S. to every corner of the globe, including Israel, Russia, Iraq and the United Nations.

It was organized by the Iran Project, an organization aiming to increase the ties between the U.S. and Iran.

Already, it’s being used by the White House as evidence of support for the deal, for which the administration has faced mixed reactions.

While some corners have lauded the administration for reaching the best possible deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions, critics — especially in the Republican Party — have warned that it only clears Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb.  

Testimony from diplomats in both parties will serve as ammunition for the White House, which has been making a concerted push to sell congressional Democrats on the details of the deal this week, amid a two-month period of congressional review.