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December 19, 2013: A Strong Sanctions Regime: The Best Route to a Peaceful Resolution with Iran

11:18 AM Dec 20, 2013

A Strong Sanctions Regime: The Best Route to a Peaceful Resolution with Iran

Washington, DC – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs today encouraged the Senate to pass the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and supported by a bipartisan group of 24 other Senators. The proposed legislation will further restrict purchases of Iranian petroleum, add to the already successful sanctions that have pressured Iran to join negotiations, includes a non-binding provision that the U.S. will support Israel if it takes “military action in legitimate self-defense,” and, crucially, mandates a final deal that dismantles Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The proposed measure also allows the President to waive future sanctions either by certifying Iranian compliance with the temporary agreement reached in Geneva or in the event a final agreement is reached. The JCPA, a Jewish umbrella organization, called the enhanced sanctions an important contribution toward a successfully negotiated end to Iran’s nuclear program.

“The best pathway to resolving the crisis over Iran’s nuclear weapons program unquestionably is a diplomatic one. We applauded President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their efforts together with the other P5+1 partners in achieving an interim agreement with Iran as a valuable step in this direction. But so long as Iran maintains the ability to reach breakout nuclear capability, we, our allies in the region, and the entire international community will continue to be threatened,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “We thank the Senators for insisting on dismantlement of the infrastructure that supports this dangerous program.”

“Sanctions have always been a means to ending the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and – in fact – have been one of the most effective tools in bringing Iran to the negotiating table,” said JCPA Chair Larry Gold. “Our goal is not to inflict any more economic pain on the Iranian people, but rather to achieve a lasting, negotiated solution. A well crafted sanctions regime made diplomacy possible, and the threat of additional sanctions – to be triggered if the interim agreement is violated or if a satisfactory final agreement is not reaching in a timely matter - will lend immediacy to the talks.”

Earlier this year, over 5000 members of the Jewish community signed a JCPA-sponsored petition supporting enhanced sanctions legislation passed last summer in the House of Representatives and encouraging the Senate to take similar action.

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