After a New York Times report revealed loopholes in U.S. sanctions on Iran, the JCPA had the following to say:
December 24, 2010: No Loopholes for Iran
01:27 PM Dec 27, 2010
Jewish Group Urges Congress and Administration to Tighten Sanctions Exemptions
Loopholes are allowing thousands of transactions with Iran, undermining sanctions designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambition, said a leading American Jewish organization. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs called for the Administration to work with the new Congress to ensure all licenses to do businesses in Iran are given the proper scrutiny and focused on strictly humanitarian or diplomatic concerns, not short-term business profits.
“We are frustrated and concerned by loopholes that seem to undermine our own national policies designed to isolate Iran,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “The United States deserves credit for taking the threat of a nuclear armed Iran seriously and leading a coalition of nations to implement meaningful sanctions. These measures have been effective, causing the Iranian government great problems in keeping popular support. The American government’s policies must not be loosely interpreted or enforced. They must have real internal and external consequences. We would hate to see loopholes for products like cigarettes and hot sauce weaken the sanctions designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”
“We believe strongly in the importance of humanitarian and diplomatic exemptions. Our goal is not to harm at risk populations dependent on US assistance or our national security goals,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. “But overly broad interpretations themselves undermine our national priorities and can allow Iranian leaders to profit while continuing their dangerous policies. We will work with the Administration to tighten the application of these rules and, as the 112th Congress takes shape, we hope to work with Speaker Boehner, Leader Reid and congressional leadership to restructure the law to prevent US companies or Iranian leaders from profiting from well-intended exemptions that are being applied too broadly. We encourage all American businesses to disavow the use of these licensing provisions for short-term profits.”
The JCPA has worked with the Administration and called on Congress in the past for meaningful sanctions that would demonstrate to the Iranian government the benefits of stopping their nuclear arms programs and turning away from terrorism.