In an interview with The Jerusalem Post Wednesday, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami declared his support for the recent nuclear agreement reached between world powers and Iran, saying he thinks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wrong in his objections to the accord.
"The prime minister thinks there could be a better deal, but that's not one of the options on the table today, so he's wrong, in the sense that what he wants is no longer a possibility," Ben-Ami said, adding that it only serves Israel's best interests.
"We support the prime minister's objective, we support the president's objective of making sure Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon, and this deal does that, and it's the best of all available options."
Asked if the Islamic Republic can be trusted to abide by the terms of the nuclear accord, Ben-Ami responded that the strength of the agreement relies on a platform based on skepticism.
J Street video campaign backing Iran deal
"Fundamentally, this deal is based on a premise that you can't trust Iran," he said. "It is based on the premise of distrust and verify."
J Street, a Middle East policy group that favors a pro-peace approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also announced Wednesday it will be launching a campaign to convince Washington lawmakers that the agreement “advances both US and Israeli security interests.” The lobby has raised $2 million thus far for the drive, a source said.
“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” the group said in a statement.
The campaign will launch this week with a 30-second TV advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement, along with more broadcast and print ads over the next 60 days.
Obama in his news conference asked lawmakers not to heed lobbyists in considering the deal. Earlier Wednesday, his vice president, Joe Biden, had met Democratic lawmakers in a closed session to persuade them to back a deal. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the deal.
The president seemed eager to counter criticism of the deal.
“With this deal we cut off every one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program,” he said.JPost.com staff contributed to this report
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