Letter to the editor: Iran did not comply

To the editor:

I agree with Loring Henderson that our country should not “drift toward yet another war in the Middle East.” However, Henderson’s claims about Iran are inaccurate. First, he referred to the JPCOA as a treaty. The State Department’s then assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Julia Frifield, wrote in 2015, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” Frifield went on to add the U.S. has “the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.”

Next, Henderson claims Iran was in compliance with the JPCOA. This is inaccurate. One of the JPCOA agreements was that Iran would fully explain its prior history of efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon capability. Iran has never done so. A second agreement within the JPCOA was “that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons.”

How do we know Iran was out of compliance? In 2017 Israel conducted a daring raid in Tehran, Iran, and obtained about 100,000 documents written in Farsi, including detailed nuclear weapon designs. Scholars from the Belfer Center were given access to the documents and discussed their contents with Israeli curators. Based on their review, these Harvard-affiliated scholars reported: “Iran’s senior leadership approved a program to manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test. This was a coherent, organized, top-down program, not a rogue operation.”

Michael K. Kelly,



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