JFNA Statement on Iran Deal

 

New York – While the vote on the Iran agreement is likely behind us, the long-term challenge of preventing a nuclear Iran isn’t. America and our allies need to closely monitor Iran’s compliance of the accord and be prepared to act quickly and decisively against any Iranian violations.

 

This agreement adds a new variable to an already unstable and unpredictable Middle East. A strong U.S.-Israel relationship is more important than ever to both nations as we confront these challenges. Strengthening the spirit of the relationship, deepening strategic cooperation and supporting Israel as it reexamines its defense needs in light of the agreement are important next steps.

 

While the last several months have seen divisions over the Iran issue, we also must remember one thing on which the Administration, Congress, the Jewish community and indeed the American people all agree: Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.

Update from the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley

July 23, 2014

 

This morning, we joined 1,700 of "our closest friends" from the North American Jewish Federation leaders on a conference call to be briefed by Dr. Robert Satloff, Director of the Washington Institute on Near East Policy.  He shared his thoughts on the Iran Agreement.

 

Satloff decidedly did not take a position of whether we should be promoting or opposing the Agreement with our members of Congress. He did however lay out his five major concerns for the agreement and we paraphrase them here for your consideration.  Three concerns are within the agreement and two are more strategic considerations.

 

Concerns within the Agreement:

 

Monitoring and verification: Satloff distinguished between inspections which could be anywhere/anytime and wherever/whenever. He expressed concerns about the 24-day provision which could be longer with necessary oversight from the UN Security Council.  While 24 days are not long enough to cover up any major infractions of the agreement (I.E., isotopes would remain in the soil samples), it is enough time to remove non-traceable equipment and activities.

 

Consequences:  Satloff pointed out that there are no tiers for infractions. He suggested we consider our legal system as an example.  If the death penalty was the only punishment, we would likely overlook lesser infractions because the penalty is too high. For instance, we would not give the death penalty for shoplifting.  Satloff suggested that a more realistic agreement would have had a matrix or ladder for each type of infraction to the agreement.  This would make the agreement more enforceable for all the mischief we anticipate.

 

Sunset provisions: Almost all of the provisions expire.  The agreement allows for upgrades from year 10 of this agreement onward. In years 5 and 8 respectively, there is a suspension of the arms embargo and then the suspension of the ballistic missile exclusion. After year 15, there is no limit on a breakout time for Iran to have nuclear arms. We know that they have been working on an intercontinental ballistic program in order to attack the United States. Satloff believes that the Sunset provisions should be buttoned down tighter.

 

Concerns outside of the Agreement:

 

Sanctions Relief:  Sanctions relief will come from 1) oil trade (mostly with China),  2) investment income from foreign interests (France and Germany are already in the region with Consular business attaches) and 3) sanctions relief. Rough estimates are that the Iranians will have a windfall of at least $100 Billion dollars. We have every indication that the Iranian government will continue to spend on their nefarious activities through the region and beyond. Currently, the Iran Government is spending about $3 Billion on their destabilization and terrorist proxies.  Even 10% of this sum would be $10 Billion dollars or more than three times the amount they are spending now. The US government has recognized this and is starting to discuss 'compensation' for Israel, Saudi Arabia and other strategic partners in the region who are anticipated to take the brunt of the extra risks from the Iranian 'activities'.

 

Strategic Realignment: Obviously, this agreement marks a significant and profound difference in dealing with Iran. Satloff commented that we should listen carefully to the Administration in these next few weeks to identify if they think this is a transactional deal or a transformative deal with Iran.  The Administration is currently waffling between the two and we should be particularly aware of the difference.  In addition to a possible thaw of the Iran-US relationship, we should also be aware of the difference in the US - Israel relationship.  Satloff confirms that there is unprecedented bilateral intelligence and military cooperation between Israel and the United States.  What seems more concerning is the differentiation between this cooperation and the political and strategic allegiances. The erosion of this component of the relationship is concerning for Israel's ability to maintain the appearance of a force on the world stage.  If other countries doubt the United States' interest in Israel, they might perceive them as more vulnerable.

 

Satloff closed by saying that even if the deal does not pass Congress, it is unlikely that there will be a war.  It is not in Iran's best interest either.

 

We hope that you have found this information helpful.  We urge you to continue to educate yourself and  your US Representatives (link here) on these issues of utmost concern to the security of the United States and Israel. 

 

We have an opportunity to also hear from the Consul General, Dr. Andy David on Wednesday, July 29 at 8:30 am. While you formulate your opinion on this Iran Agreement, we thought you should hear from the Consulate directly.

 

Julie Krigel, Board President & Jyl Jurman, CEO

Statement from the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley

July 14, 2015

 

Today the United States and the other P5+1 nations announced a significant agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. 

 

We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.


At the same time, we are concerned. Iran's support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries-including Israel-make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.


President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran's potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran's nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.


We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny.

 

Jyl Jurman & Julie Krigel
CEO             Board President

Statement from the Jewish Federations of North America

July 14, 2015

 

Jewish Federations can be found in nearly every city in North America, and our leaders are among the most committed philanthropists in their communities. In just three generations, Jewish Federations across North America forged one of the top 10 philanthropic networks on the continent, helped rescue millions of Jewish refugees from across the globe, helped to build the State of Israel, and continue to touch more Jewish lives than any system in the world.


That is why we feel it is so important to speak out on today’s agreement with Iran.


We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.


At the same time, we are concerned. Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.


President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran's potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran's nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.


We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny. 

Special Address by President Barack Obama
View the webcast from August 28 here.