Hundreds of retired generals and admirals urge Congress to say ‘NO’ to Iran nuclear deal

Thomas G. McInerney (born March 15, 1937)[1] is a retired, highly decorated United States Air Force Lieutenant General, who served in top military positions and reported directly to the Secretary of Defense and to the Vice President of the United States. He was command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, including 407 combat missions during the Vietnam War.

As President Obama pushes ahead to win approval for the controversial nuclear deal with Iran, a group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals is making a last-ditch effort to prevent the deal from going through.

The group, which includes retired generals and flag officers from every branch of service, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement.

The threat to our national security is undeniable if this deal passes. The letter is addressed to both Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen. Letters like this one, from retired senior military officers, have come in from other groups—which include rabbis, nuclear scientists, arms-control and nonproliferation experts.

The letter from the retired generals and admirals is a response to one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers who support the nuclear deal. It states, in part: “The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies.”

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, who was vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, said he considers the agreement “the most dangerous nuclear accord in U.S. history.” McInerney believes that most retired general officers do not support the Iran deal, but some did not sign the letter because they feared ‘negative career repercussions.’

McInerney added: “What I don’t like about this is, the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians.  They are purveyors of radical Islam throughout the region and throughout the world. And we are going to enable them to get nuclear weapons. Why would we do that?”

The agreement with Iran, would lift sanctions if Iran cuts back its nuclear program. The accord also calls for regular inspections at Iran’s nuclear installations. If the Iranians are caught cheating, international sanctions would be re-imposed.

Lawmakers must vote by Sept. 17 whether to “disapprove” the deal. The Republican majority is unanimously opposed to the agreement. It is safe to assume that all House Republicans will vote for the disapproval resolution.

The letter was also signed by retired Vice Adm. John Poindexter and retired Maj. Gen. Richard Secord, who were involved in the Iran-contra affair in the Reagan administration, according to the Washington Post.

Many of the signatories served in the White House, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. But the thing now bringing them all together is that they consider this deal with Iran to be a threat to “U.S. interests in the region and its own national security.”

The Obama administration is focusing on ensuring that enough Democrats support the deal to uphold a presidential veto. The Washington Post reports they are only five votes short of the 34 needed to block a veto override.

It’s unclear whether the letter will have any effect on Congress. Leon A. “Bud” Edney, a retired admiral who served as vice chief of naval operations, initiated the letter.

“It’s just the opinion of people who have served their country. It’s an alternative view to what I consider a very weak letter put out by the administration implying generals and admirals support this agreement. But I don’t think it will have any impact,” Edney said.

According to a report this week in the NY Times, even some of the most enthusiastic backers of the agreement say they fear Pres. Obama has “oversold some of the accord’s virtues,” as he proclaims that it would “block” all pathways to a nuclear weapon.

“Mr. Obama has been pressing the case that the sharp limits on how much nuclear fuel Iran can hold, how many centrifuges it can spin and what kind of technology it can acquire would make it extraordinarily difficult for Iran to race for the bomb over the next 15 years,” the Times article said.

Critics say the problem with that is, after 15 years, Iran is free to produce uranium on an industrial scale.


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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