J Street vs. AIPAC: Main US pro-Israel lobbies disagree on Iran deal

AIPAC warns deal may empower the "leading state sponsor of terror," while J Street says deal "blocks pathway to a nuclear weapon."

United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. (photo credit: REUTERS)
United States Capitol building in Washington, DC.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The liberal Jewish lobby J Street on Tuesday praised the agreement struck between the major world powers and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
The lobby released a statement hailing the agreement as “meet[ing] the critical criteria for...a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.”
“We congratulate President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the other members of the P5+1 for having the resolve, determination, patience and persistence to bring such a difficult negotiation to a successful conclusion,” J Street said in a statement.
The group warned Congress not to reject the agreement for fear of “the likely consequences - a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded.”
“Following our own review of the agreement, we expect to call on Congress to support the deal as the best - if not only - means of ensuring that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons,” J Street said.
AIPAC, in stark contrast, voiced their concern regarding the deal, citing initial reports that the agreement may not meet the requirements that they claim are marked indicators of a "good deal." According to AIPAC, a deal that does not meet these requirements may posit a "failure to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror."
"As the administration has agreed, now is the time for Congress to carefully review all elements of the proposed agreement to ensure that Iran is verifiably prevented from attaining a nuclear weapon," said AIPAC. "We intend to examine closely the details of the agreement against that standard, and we will then issue a fuller assessment. "