Friday, December 20, 2013, New York… –
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations leaders, Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO, welcomed the introduction of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act by a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and 25 of their colleagues, which proposes important additional sanctions against Iran should the negotiations fail to reach a final agreement, or if the Iranians are found to be in violation of the terms of the interim agreement. The legislation supports a diplomatic resolution and provides for a delay of up to a year in the implementation of the sanctions while making clear to the Iranians that their failure to comply with their current obligations, and to negotiate in good faith a final agreement in a timely fashion, will result in the imposition of these additional impactful sanctions. It will be a warning to Iran not to resort to their consistent pattern of obfuscation, manipulation, dishonesty and delay in past negotiations. We support the efforts led by the United States to reach a comprehensive agreement and believe the legislation will strengthen their hand, as past sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. We also welcomed and support the actions by the Administration last week to sanction additional individuals and companies found to be in violation of existing sanctions in their dealings with Iran.
The leaders expressed concern with recent statements by Iranian leaders which suggest that they are backing off of commitments made in the agreement recently signed in Geneva with the P5+1. Iranian leaders noted that the Geneva accord was nothing more than a “letter of intent” and was not legally binding. They spoke of the collapse of the sanctions regime and announced massive war games and ballistic missile tests. They also indicated that they would not dismantle the infrastructure currently in place nor their enrichment capacity. In addition, they continue to expand their support for forces backing the Assad regime and expanding their global terrorist network. These statements and actions underscore the need for the United States and its partners to maintain the strongest, unambiguous posture in their dealings with Iran for the diplomatic process to succeed.
We hope that the meetings in Geneva will result in the immediate implementation by Iran of all its undertakings with unimpeded inspection by the IAEA of all of their facilities related to the nuclear program, including military sites. We hope also that the weaponization and missile delivery programs will be subject to scrutiny and restrictions. These are necessary steps to assure the full dismantling of Iran’s current and potential capacity to produce nuclear weapons, including enrichment.
For decades, Iran has avoided its obligations and used negotiations to exploit the goodwill of their counterparts. We hope the Administration and the Senate can avoid divisions and recrimination so that there can be a united, strong front that shows the Iranians our determination. Some of the terminology and characterizations used in the latest days, including accusations of warmongering and sabotage, are inappropriate and counterproductive. Everyone shares the same objective and that is to enhance the negotiating position that assures an outcome that protects America’s national interests and the security of our allies that Iran has threatened to destroy. The resolution proposed for the Senate and already adopted by the House can be a positive contribution to the unified effort.
The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern