Ameinu, North America’s largest grassroots progressive Zionist organization, today released the following statement on Iran’s compliance with the initial requirements of the nuclear deal between international community and Iran — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
Ameinu views implementation of the JCPOA as a singular diplomatic achievement for President Barack Obama, Secretary John Kerry and the United States’ P5+1 partners from the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union. We applaud the tenacity and perseverance of their diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Today, Ameinu calls on the United States to work with Israel, our partners in the JCPOA negotiations and our allies in the Middle East to undertake efforts with equal determination to address Iranian actions in the non-nuclear field. Ameinu also is committed to working with partners in the Jewish community and all others who are concerned about Iranian human rights abuses, support for terrorism and other threats to create a citizen campaign to organize, educate and act against Iranian threats to the US, Israel, the Middle East and the world that were not intended to be addressed by the JCPOA, as discussed below.
We note that when the JCPOA was signed Iran was within approximately three months of having the capacity to create a nuclear weapon. That presented an unacceptable threat to the United States, Israel and the entire world that demanded action.
As certified by the International Atomic Energy Commission, Iran has now eliminated two thirds of its nearly 20,000 centrifuges, reduced its enriched uranium stockpile by 98%, taken out the core of its plutonium reactor and filled it with cement, agreed to 24/7 monitoring of the entire uranium supply chain and for the first time instituted a timely system to allow nuclear inspectors access to undeclared sites suspected of harboring illegal nuclear activities. Iran is now at least one year from being able to build a nuclear weapon and the terms of the deal extend for many years — 10, 15, 25 or even in perpetuity. Iran’s nuclear capacity has been dramatically reduced and the international community’s capacity to catch cheating by Iran has been dramatically increased.
As part of the JCPOA, nuclear sanctions – not sanctions imposed for other infractions of international law – will be lifted and Iranian funds that had been frozen will be returned to Iranian control. These terms, which are not without dangers or cause for concern – were the cost of reaching the accord to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
When the JCPOA was announced Ameinu concluded, along with the great majority of US and Israeli security officials, that this was the best approach to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It was for that reason that we promoted support for the JCPOA with congressional friends and in the Jewish community. And it was why we led an effort with activist rabbis to develop a letter of support for the JCPOA with over 440 rabbinical signatories from all of the streams of Judaism.
While we celebrate the implementation of the steps to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and we are relieved by the release of American hostages being held by Iran, we remain gravely concerned by Iranian human rights violations, support for terrorism, threats to Israel and regional destabilization. Since the beginning of our support for the JCPOA we have raised these serious concerns about Iranian actions in the non-nuclear arena and have called for united and concerted international action to address these threats. We have also recognized that, while necessary to address Iranian nuclear ambitions, economic benefits received by Iran for its compliance with the JCPOA had the potential to make these dangers even worse. These threats must be addressed on a separate track as the international community maintains vigilance on implementation of the JCPOA.