The US should be “very careful” in negotiating future nuclear deals with Iran to
ease international sanctions, B’nai B’rith International president Allan
J. Jacobs warned on Thursday.
“If we had a message to the
administration, it would be that we have to be careful in reaching any further
agreements with Iran,” Jacobs told The Jerusalem Post in an interview at the
capital’s Inbal Hotel.
“They will push the envelope as far as they can,
and once you’ve opened the door to some of these sanctions, it’s going to be
very difficult to close the door back again if Iran violates the
Jacobs this week headed what he termed a B’nai B’rith
“fact-finding visit” to Israel as the organization celebrates its 170th
anniversary, and met with, among others, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice
president of B’nai B’rith, said he believed Israel had been justified in
speaking out against the landmark agreement reached between world powers and
Iran in Geneva last month.
“Justified in raising the issues? Absolutely!”
“Who’s going to do it, if not the elected
representatives of the people of Israel? The international community, the P5+1,
has their agenda, and I wouldn’t question their deep concern about Iran’s
But Israel now is the only country in the cross hairs.
During the negotiations, Iran’s Supreme Leader refers to Israel as a rabid dog
that needs to be eradicated.
So if these questions aren’t raised in
Israel, where else are they going to be raised?” Mariaschin said it is now
evident that several key issues were “left out” of the Geneva
“It appears day by day that what was left out is very much at
the bottom of the problems here – the issue of managed access to the inspectors,
why Parchin isn’t part of the deal, why weaponization is not addressed, their
ballistic missile industry, the delivery systems,” he said. “It’s
That’s why you have the Senate now considering further
The warning flags that were raised here, I think, were well
justified. There was a lot of ‘Don’t rain on the parade, don’t get in the way
here,’ but I think now the more that we know, the more questions we really need
to ask as they go forward with this next round of talks.”
of the six world powers and Iran met in Vienna this week to discuss
implementation of the Geneva deal. Jacobs said he was particularly worried about
the possibility of the sanctions regime unraveling. “The administration says
they will tighten the sanctions again, but we’re concerned that once you have
some of these foreign companies doing business in Iran, it’s going to be very
difficult,” he said.
“And will you be able to put together again the P5+1
and get Russia and China to tighten the sanctions again?”
between Israel and the Palestinians, Jacobs said he had the impression that the
Palestinians were “rejecting everything out of hand,” including the latest
security plan presented to the sides by the US.
“While we hear from the Israelis
that it really doesn’t address all their needs, the Palestinians reject it out
of hand,” Jacobs said. “Nobody seems to be saying to the Palestinians, you gotta
Everybody’s saying the Israelis have to give something,
and I think they understand there would have to be concessions.
yet to hear the Palestinians say they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which
should be a primary part of the agreement.”
Jacobs reiterated his
organization’s appeal for the US to free Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard after
spending 28 years in jail.
“I don’t know exactly where that is as far as
who is holding it up, but so far President Barack Obama has given very few
pardons,” Jacobs said. “It is long overdue. He has spent way more time than any
prisoner that has been put in prison for similar type of offenses by the US
We’re very firm on that, we believe the time has long passed,
that he should be released from prison.”
Mariaschin also urged the
administration to press Cuba to free American Jewish contractor Alan Gross, who
has been in jail for four years.
“On a strictly humanitarian basis, Alan
Gross should be released. Given his condition, given the condition of his
mother, his wife, his daughter, there should be no reason why after four years
this man shouldn’t be released,” he said.
“We hope any day to hear the
news that he has been released.”