“We urge you to preserve this critical U.S. strategic asset,” the letter read. The 37 signatories included Nobel laureates, veteran makers of nuclear arms, former White House science advisers and the chief executive of the world’s largest general society of scientists.
During the campaign, Mr. Trump called the Iran accord “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
The letter was organized by Richard L. Garwin, a physicist who helped design the world’s first hydrogen bomb and has long advised Washington on nuclear weapons and arms control.
The letter to Mr. Trump says its objective is to “provide our assessment” of the Iran deal since it was put in effect nearly a year ago. On Jan. 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the technical body in Vienna that oversees the accord with teams of inspectors it has sent to Iran, gave its approval, saying Tehran had curbed its nuclear program enough to begin receiving relief from longstanding sanctions.
The letter writers zeroed in on the dismantling of Iran’s ability to purify uranium. They said Tehran, as agreed, had shut down roughly two-thirds of its whirling machines for enriching uranium, had exported more than 95 percent of the material it had enriched to 4 percent and had given up its production of uranium enriched to near 20 percent.
In summary, the letter said, the deal “has dramatically reduced the risk that Iran could suddenly produce significant quantities” of material for making nuclear arms and “lowered the pressure felt by Iran’s neighbors to develop their own nuclear weapons options.”
In Monday’s letter, the scientists and nuclear experts noted that the accord takes no options off the table for Mr. Trump or any future president. “It provides both time and legitimacy for an effective response.” they wrote.
Many of the 37 signatories were among the 29 who praised the accord in a letter to President Obama in August 2015, a month after the deal was signed and sharp public debate had begun on its merits.