US Jewish groups hailed President Donald Trump’s decision to pull America out of the Iran deal, describing the decision as “courageous” and a blow to the Islamic Republic.
“Iran is a rogue nation ruled by a regime that cannot be trusted to honor its word, and even more so with nuclear capabilities that would enable it to wreak havoc on the world and cause a catastrophic arms race in the region,” Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told The Jerusalem Post via email on Tuesday.
“President Trump has taken a courageous step
today in making it ever clear to the Islamic Republic that he will not stand by in silence as it continues to subvert the nuclear agreement and exploit the good faith of the international community. We urge other countries to follow this administration’s example and not allow Iran to flout international law.”
Following remarks from the White House Diplomatic Room, Trump signed a presidential memorandum that immediately levies the “highest level of economic sanction” on Iran over its nuclear activity – a move that will put the US in violation of core provisions in the agreement, which traded global sanctions relief on Tehran in exchange for temporary caps and dismantling of their nuclear infrastructure.
The entire agreement is now imperiled as European officials expressed dismay when pressed on a path forward, and Iranian leaders promised a “severe response” that might include their own withdrawal from the landmark pact.
Jewish organizations such as StandWithUs, however, appeared to dismiss concerns over the health of the agreement, pointing out that the Islamic Republic has never abated in sowing chaos across the globe.
“Since the signing of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], the Iranian regime has increased its support for terrorism, sowed more death and destruction in Syria, and continued to develop ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads,” CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs, Roz Rothstein, told the Post.
“Given the regime’s calls for Israel’s destruction and threats against many other nations, it is clear that they cannot be trusted and must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons. We hope this announcement will be a step towards ending this aggression and building a more peaceful future for all people in the Middle East,” she added.
Echoing the sentiment were leaders from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, who commended the president for withdrawing from the international accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“A regime that serially celebrates the denial of the Nazi Holocaust – history’s most documented genocide – ever took place, can be relied upon to lie about its commitments to the international community,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier, founder and dean and Abraham Cooper, associate dean.
“Lying is the national anthem and Magna Carta of the Ayatollahs regime,” they added.
Meanwhile, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon hailed the move as “a historic decision that provides the prospect for a new era of security and stability in the Middle East.”
“A united front against this regime that promotes terror and sows instability can put an end to the Iranian aggression which threatens our region and the entire international community,” Danon added.
Sounding especially jubilant was the famously hawkish head of the Zionist Organization of America, Mort Klein, who suggested that if Iran does not comply with demands insisting on transparent inspections and a complete halt to its nuclear program, the US should employ military force in response.
“ZOA is thrilled Trump kept yet another campaign promise in ending the catastrophic Iran deal which I painfully believe Obama instituted to strengthen the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ability to harm Israel,” Klein told the Post in a statement. “This deal guaranteed Iranian nukes within ten more years. We urge President Trump to make more clear that if Iran doesn’t end their nuclear program, allow inspections of their secret military facilities, and stop developing ICBMs, he will be forced to consider US military action as well as support Israeli military action.
“Trump has just made the world a safer place for all of us,” he added.
Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, expressed optimism that Trump's decision would help foster better relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
“Today’s announcement brings the Gulf States and Israel closer together as they share a common enemy and threat in Iran. I applaud President Trump’s decision and support his efforts on behalf of Israel and our allies in the Gulf.”
The Orthodox Union, which opposed the JCPOA when it was being negotiated and approved by President Obama and his administration, said the White House move opens a path towards ensuring stability.
“The Orthodox Union commends President Donald Trump for his decision today withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal," the umbrella organization said.
"The President has long recognized the flaws of the JCPOA and has followed through today with the correct action. We will support the President’s coming actions to bring true and lasting security to the Middle East and beyond.”
One group that provided somewhat of a tepid response to the announcement was the American Jewish Committee, who ultimately embraced the move but found it “regrettable” that “fixes to the agreement” could not be made.
“In the end, we concluded that we could not support the deal, as we feared its flaws – no binding provisions on ballistic missile development, no focus on Iran’s destabilizing regional behavior, weaknesses in the coverage of the inspections regime, and a dangerous sunset clause – would ultimately define it,” the AJC said. “President Donald J. Trump never hid his disdain for the JCPOA,” the organization continued, “or his threat to withdraw the United States from it.
“But he also left open the possibility that, if our European allies, would be willing to address seriously the core weaknesses, then there was an alternative to ‘nixing’ the deal.
Regrettably, however, despite efforts on both sides of the Atlantic, full agreement on a path forward has to date eluded the Americans and Europeans.
“We can only hope that today’s action by the president, significant as it is, will not end the effort to find common ground,” the AJC added.
Trump said that intelligence published last week by the Israeli government, which revealed an Iranian archive documenting their experimentation with nuclear weapons technology up until 2003, offered “definitive proof” that the premise on which the Iran deal was clinched was “a lie.”
“The fact is, this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump said. “A constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time. But it wasn’t.
At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction.”