A Touch of Class


Open Letter on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Dear Senator Booker,

I am writing to you to urge you to support the nuclear deal with Iran.

As the technical world's equivalent of a diplomat (I work on international standards, helping representatives from Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple, HP, Adobe, and many other companies agree on the best way forward for core technologies of the Web), I know that negotiating a multilateral agreement is not a simple task. The final agreement has to balance and integrate all the concerns of each party, as well as consider the current state of the world—with all its imperfections—and create out of that mess a powerful and coherent way forward for the world. It is never perfect. And while it is never as we originally imagined it would be, it is almost always better, stronger, and more resilient, because it brings in the contributions of all our diverse members. Moreover, this ability to integrate and involve the entire community is what keeps the Web open, interoperable, and together, rather than a fragmented collection of broken and incompatible silos, each diverging in its own direction.

It is rare for the international community to have such a strong, positive, and nearly unanimous response to an international treaty, and I think it's critically important that we, the United States, support the diplomatic framework in the deal with Iran. I know you will give this issue serious thought. But remember to consider not just its strengths (which are many) and its flaws (which every treaty has) in isolation, but also the question of its context, and of what would be the best course of action, given our current international context and the positions of our allies. You must consider not just the details of the deal in the context of the US alone, but also the repercussions of vetoing the deal for the world at large, repercussions that would almost certainly include the unravelling of international sanctions together with the unravelling of the limitations imposed by this deal, and the resulting unravelling of the world's diplomatic strength against Iran.

I believe it is not plausible that the US will have another chance to create even such a well-structured deal as this, much less a “better” one (whatever that might mean). I hope that you conclude that this is indeed the best way forward for the US and the world, and announce your support for this plan for peace, diplomacy, and a strong, US-backed international community.

Thank you for your consideration~

Elika J. Etemad
Invited Expert
CSS Working Group, W3C

Background Info: Watch/Read President Obama's Speech on the Iran Deal in which he lays out the arguments and counter-counter arguments for this agreement.