JCRC PROPOSED STATEMENT ON IRAN AGREEMENT
August 4, 2015
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County understands that the goal of the Iran nuclear negotiations was to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. This situation has a dramatic effect on Israel, the Jewish community and the global community at-large.
We recognize and appreciate diplomatic efforts that work toward ensuring a safe and secure Israel. Therefore, with the information we know thus far, we find this agreement objectionable based on the following concerns:
- It does not appear that the negotiations sufficiently considered Iran’s behavior, including terrorist and subversive pursuits by the Islamic Republic, as well as its threats to destroy the State of Israel.
- JCRC believes that the P5+1 negotiators were too quick to sign an agreement at a time when heavy sanctions appeared to be effective and exposed Iran’s vulnerability.
- We welcome the reduction of the number of centrifuges in operation, the reduction of Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and the removal and redesigning of the heavy-water reactor at Arak. However, we are very concerned that the Iranians are not required to dismantle their enrichment infrastructure. According to this agreement, Iran is still allowed to enrich up to 3.7% of uranium – insufficient for a bomb, but a provision that will keep Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact and potentially dangerous.
- The amount of low-enriched uranium stockpile that Iran can retain is capped for the next 15 years. “Breakout” time – the time it would take Iran to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon – is approximately one year after the 15-year period. Then, Iran will have no limitation on centrifuge operations or on uranium enrichment. We interpret this part of the agreement as legitimizing Iran as a threshold nuclear state with no effective mechanism in place to prevent them from becoming a nuclear power.
- JCRC is also concerned that the verification process on suspected unreported Iranian facilities may be insufficient, as inspectors will not have free access to Iranian facilities “anywhere, anytime.”
- Most problematic is the fact that after Iran completes its obligations (reduction of uranium stockpile, reduction of operating centrifuges, and the removal and redesigning of the Arak heavy water reactor), Iran could obtain approximately $150 billion from frozen assets and oil income. We believe this sanctions relief is likely to increase Iran’s terrorist and subversive activities, threatening the stability of the region and the security of the State of Israel.
- JCRC remains profoundly concerned that the international conventional arms embargo will be lifted in five years, and the lifting of limits on delivery of ballistic missile components to Iran will be lifted in eight years. This is highly problematic given Iran’s history of aggressive behavior.
- JCRC is also concerned about a provision in the agreement stipulating that Iran will receive training and workshops to strengthen its ability to protect against and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage. JCRC believes this provision effectively undermines the world power deterrence against Iran, since it effectively prevents military options.
Fear of a nuclear Iran by Saudi Arabia and countries of the Persian Gulf may result in the development of a nuclear arms race and nuclear proliferation that will make the region even more unsafe, and contradicts President Obama’s stated goal of de-nuclearizing the world.
- If after meticulous examination Congress votes not to reject the deal or rejects it without a veto-proof majority, global powers should not tolerate any Iranian act of deception.
- Military options must remain open, should Iran move to develop a nuclear weapon now or in the future.
- Iran’s nuclear and non-nuclear behavior must be assertively addressed. As part of a comprehensive strategy to counteract the dangerous developments in the Middle East, steps must be taken to prohibit Iran’s subversive and aggressive terrorist activities – in particular, its support for Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.
- The U.S. must apply the full weight of its influence to stop the anti-Semitic hatred promoted by Iran. Iran must be pressured by the international community to recognize the State of Israel and cease its hostility towards the Jewish state.