JCRC of Greater Washington Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

August 3, 2015

We acknowledge and deeply appreciate President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz,  Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and the entire negotiating team for their unremitting diplomatic efforts to reach an accord to prevent a nuclear armed Iran.  This Administration, through its unprecedented level of military cooperation with the State of Israel, has demonstrated its support for the security of the Jewish state.

We recognize the diversity of thoughts on this profound and sensitive matter and encourage our community to respect different viewpoints and not to challenge the motivations of people with differing positions.  People on all sides of the issue believe their position will best prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and is in the long term interests of the United States, Israel, and the world. Those who are against the deal should not be accused of being warmongers or have their opinions seemingly invalidated by challenging what is their alternative. Those who favor the deal should not have their support for Israel questioned.  We recently marked Tisha B’Av, mourning the fall of Jerusalem due to baseless hatred. It is pivotal that we keep this lesson from Jewish history in the forefront of our minds as we proceed through this debate.

We also regret derogatory personal statements, some coming from Israel, criticizing President Obama and his motivations. There is no place for this type of demonizing rhetoric.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington remains vehemently opposed to a nuclear Iran. Prior to the announcement of the deal, we outlined five criteria that would need to be met by any agreement to ensure Iran could not attain nuclear capabilities. Unfortunately we have reluctantly concluded that this proposed agreement does not comply with these parameters and therefore we must oppose it and call upon Congress to vote against this deal.

This deal has significant flaws. It does not permit essential “anytime, anywhere” short notice inspections of Iranian facilities and does not clearly condition sanctions relief on full Iranian cooperation in satisfying International Atomic Energy Agency concerns over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s program. The deal lifts sanctions as soon as the agreement commences, lifts key restrictions within 8 years, disconnects and stores centrifuges in an easily reversible manner, and requires no dismantlement of centrifuges or any nuclear facility. And after 15 years, when virtually all restrictions on Iran's nuclear program are gone, Iran will be legally able to acquire a nuclear weapons capability with a breakout time measured in days. 

The JCRC shares the goal of achieving a negotiated, peaceful solution, and emphatically rejects the notion that objecting to this proposed deal is a call for war.

The JCRC will provide further communications on this situation, continue to update our resource page and share important information on our social media pages.