Alumnus optimistic after Iran agreement
Derek Johnson ’04, executive director at Global Zero, published an editorial in the Huffington Post where he expresses optimism that the recent nuclear deal with Iran could mean real progress toward global nuclear disarmament.
Global Zero is a non-profit dedicated to the elimination of nuclear weapons in the world. In his editorial, Johnson says that the agreement with Iran, which will stop the country’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, shows that the problem of nuclear proliferation, even among so-called rogue states, is not intractable.
“For years, a fanatic choir of skeptics insisted that so-called rogue states and ‘tough cases,’ Iran chief among them, would never forgo weapons of mass destruction. The international community, they argued, was powerless in the face of a calculating leader or industrious madman in pursuit of the bomb. That misguided view of the world — and of the power of multilateral pressure and diplomacy — has been used to prop up dangerously outdated thinking about proliferation, deterrence and global security.
“What is happening in the world right now is remarkable. We are seeing what can be achieved through multilateral leadership, hard-fought diplomacy and international pressure — precisely the strategy advocated by the Global Zero movement. This constructive model is effective and scalable: it can move the world beyond the limitations of our whack-a-mole approach to proliferation and toward the negotiated, verified elimination of all WMDs globally.”
Johnson, an attorney who serves on Cornell College’s Alumni Board of Directors, has said that his Cornell education helped instill the values that drive his work. “”Global Zero is civic engagement at its finest. We’re facing humanity’s single greatest challenge and asking world leaders to set aside the most powerful, devastating weapons known to mankind. We have a truly historic opportunity to rid the world of nuclear weapons and change the course of human events, and we’re mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people, from heads-of-state to high school students, to seize that moment before it passes by. Having even a small part to play in the pursuit of that vision is incredibly exciting. And looking back, I’m convinced that my decision to attend Cornell College is what led me here.”