Zarif and Kerry at Iran nuclear talks in Geneva 370.
(photo credit:REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool)
NEW YORK – Jewish organizations in the US offered mixed reactions to the Geneva
agreement reached overnight Saturday between Iran and six world
Washington DC-based lobby group J Street said on their website
they “welcome the agreement... as a first significant step in efforts to prevent
Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” The group said it “urges Congress to get
behind this agreement.”
David Harris, executive director of the American
Jewish Committee, said the deal was a “potentially important development,” but a
more full understanding of the accord was needed. He also expressed doubt as to
whether it would actually lead to the cessation of Iran’s nuclear
“A diplomatic solution is unquestionably the preferred
approach,” said Harris, “but for years Iran has maintained an indisputable
posture of deceit and defiance... the P5+1 need to be ever vigilant in
determining whether Iranian leaders are, in fact, sincere... Or will play
for time while trying to advance their nuclear program.”
Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks also released a short statement
on Saturday night, calling US President Barack Obama’s ideas “naïve,” misguided
and damaging to the US’s national security and reputation.
what the specific provisions of the deal are,” Brooks wrote, “President Obama’s
diplomacy is giving cheer to Tehran’s rogue regime and causing alarm among our
friends in the region... Congress and the American people need to speak out
against this flawed deal.”
The National Democratic Jewish Council did not
offer a comment by press time, though in the past they have expressed support
for both the talks and for the heavy economic sanctions against Iran.
World Jewish Congress said it was “skeptical” about the deal.
be judged by its actions, not its words and promises, because they are not worth
the paper they are written on,” said WJC president Ronald Lauder. “Nothing in
the deceptive behavior of Iran and its leaders in recent years should make the
world believe that they will honor this agreement.”
Organization of America and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
Organizations, which have both been critical of the talks, have not yet
commented directly on the deal.
Barry Curtiss-Lusher, national chair of
the Anti- Defamation League, and Abraham H. Foxman, its national director, both
expressed their concern over the “deep flaws” in the plan.
agreement allows [Iran] to continue enrichment and maintain a breakout
capability,” they said in a statement. “Iran has not earned these concessions
and has, in the past, used respites from international pressure to
surreptitiously make progress in its nuclear program.”
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