Several of the nation’s top scientists sent President-elect Donald Trump a letter insisting he leave the Iran deal intact.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – More than 30 of the nation’s top scientists issued an appeal to President-elect Donald Trump Monday, urging him not to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal, calling it a strong bulwark against the country in its bid to make nuclear weapons.

“We urge you to preserve this critical U.S. strategic asset,” the letter read. The letter bared 37 signatories, including 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.

While on the campaign trail, Trump called the agreement “the worst deal ever negotiated.” In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, he declared that his “No. 1 priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal,” arguing that Tehran had manipulated Washington when it was awarded concessions that would allow the country to still develop nuclear arms when the pact’s restrictions expire in 15 years.

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, initiated the letter. He is one of the last living physicists who helped usher in the nuclear age.

The scientists say the letter’s objective is to “provide our assessment” of the Iran deal since it became official nearly a year ago. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the technical body in Vienna that oversees the accord with teams of inspectors it has sent to Iran, gave the accord its blessing, saying Tehran had curbed its nuclear program enough to begin receiving relief from longstanding sanctions.

The signatories of the letter amplified the dismantling of Iran’s ability to purify uranium, a main fuel of nuclear arms and widely considered the easiest to use. The letter writers said Tehran, as agreed, has shut down roughly two-thirds of its whirling machines for enriching uranium, has 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, which is much closer to bomb-grade. This revelation could rock the uranium fuels stocks prices for quite some time.

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.”

The deal was opposed by every House and Senate Republican, but it remains unclear how quickly, if at all, Trump will cancel it. Any effort by the United States to walk away from its terms, or to renegotiate its terms, would open the door for Iran to insist on changes as well.

Others who signed the new letter include Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who, from 1986 to 1997, directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb. Rush D. Holt, a former congressman and nuclear physicist who now heads the American Association for the Advancement of Science, also signed.

Sidney D. Drell, a Stanford physicist who advised presidents from Nixon to Obama, signed the letter before dying late last month at 90.

Information from the New York Times contributed to this report.