Pope Francis has just announced his support for President Obama’s historic nuclear peace deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, announced at the International Atomic Energy Association that “we hope that the full implementation of [the nuclear deal] will ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program under the [Non-Proliferat
The Vatican is only the latest to join an overwhelming show of support from American civil society and influential groups around the world, including nuclear scientists, United States Army generals and over three hundred American rabbis. The deal has successfully overcome Republican opposition in Congress and on its way to implementation.
The Pope praised the peaceful intentions of the deal and had some implicit criticism for the deal’s detractors, many of whom openly advocate for a war with Iran:
“The way to resolve disputes and difficulties should always be that of dialogue and negotiation. It is clear that the agreement requires further efforts and commitment by all the parties involved in order for it to bear fruit. For its part, the IAEA’s indispensable role in nuclear safety and waste disposal, verification and monitoring will become ever more important as the use of peaceful nuclear energy expands and as the world moves toward nuclear disarmament.”
The Vatican also took the opportunity to urge the world to downsize their nuclear weapons stockpiles across the board:
“Just as wealthy nations have incurred an ‘ecological debt’ that demands more from them in addressing the environmental crisis, nuclear weapons states have incurred a nuclear debt. Because of the risks their nuclear arsenals pose to the world, nuclear weapons states bear a heavy moral burden to ensure that their nuclear weapons are never used and to reduce their stocks substantially while taking the lead in negotiating a nuclear ban.”
As the Pope plans his first visit to the United States, you can be sure these themes will be featured heavily in his sermons. Pope Francis has clearly taken it upon himself to try to instill some reason in his wayward American flock. His endorsement is welcomed as we celebrate the return of Iran to the international community and the threat of another useless foreign war averted.