New York, NY, January 15, 2014
CONTACT: Hiam Simon
Ameinu, the largest grassroots progressive Zionist organization in North America, applauds the finalization of an agreement between the United States and its P5+1 international partners and Iran to implement the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action (JPA). “While we cannot take our eye off the ultimate goal of ending Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have taken a major step forward by concluding this agreement,” declared Kenneth Bob, Ameinu’s president.
“Intense international sanctions have brought Iran to the table and have reached a landmark agreement. Under the JPA, in exchange for modest sanctions relief, Iran will face the most stringent inspections regime ever, a freeze of its nuclear program, elimination of stockpiles of 20% enriched uranium and other limitations on its nuclear goals while negotiations proceed,” Bob added. “Now we have the opportunity to test if a diplomatic solution can be reached that will achieve our national goals — and promote a more stable Middle East – without the drastic consequences of a military conflict. For the sake of our country, our brothers and sisters in Israel and the entire world, we must have patience to pursue negotiations without distractions or new threats.”
Since the interim deal with Iran was first announced Ameinu has cautioned the United States Congress against taking new unilateral steps that could torpedo the negotiations process, including legislation like S. 1881 that would only go into effect if Iran violates the terms of the interim agreement or a final agreement cannot be reached. The Iranian side has been clear that any new legislation will lead them to withdraw from the talks and the Obama Administration is seeking time to pursue the negotiations strategy before any new sanctions are considered.
“With such high stakes in the current nuclear negotiations with Iran, timing is everything. Sanctions and other international consequences can and should be enacted quickly in the case of failure, but now is the time to hold our fire on Iran sanctions,” said Gideon Aronoff, Ameinu’s chief executive officer. “While we have supported the broad consensus in the Jewish community and on Capitol Hill, as well as in the Obama Administration, that favored increasing pressure on Iran, Ameinu fears that many in our community and our friends in Congress are making a serious mistake to insist on passage of new sanctions legislation today.”
Ameinu, the leading progressive Zionist membership organization in the United Staes,is dedicated to promoting a negotiated peace between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states, and to social and economic justice for all in Israel and America.
Ameinu reinforces Jewish continuity through support for Habonim Dror, the Labor Zionist youth movement, and management of the Kibbutz Program Center which sends 100’s of young adults on unique Israel experiential journeys every year.