Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Proposed Nuclear Agreement with Iran

In response to today’s announcement by the P5+1 and Iran, leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement issued the following statement:

This morning, after extensive negotiations conducted under intense international scrutiny, P5+1 negotiators, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, announced that they have reached an agreement with Iran over that country’s nuclear program. We in the Reform Jewish Movement remain committed to our belief that the United States and its allies must do all that is possible to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, as well as to protect and enhance U.S. security and the security of our allies—particularly Israel—and promote stability in the entire Middle East.

We deeply appreciate the intense efforts of the multinational negotiators, especially the U.S. administration, for having worked so hard to try to come to a diplomatic resolution with Iran on containment of its nuclear program. As the U.S. Congress, other world leaders, and the American public, including the Jewish community, evaluate the details of the proposed agreement, we recognize that thoughtful people can and do hold strongly different opinions as to whether this agreement is the best obtainable result in securing our shared goals and upholding the ideal that solutions should be found through the negotiating process rather than a military confrontation.

During the last several months, leaders of our Reform Movement have consulted with experts and heard from advocates who both oppose and favor the framework outlined in March by the P5 +1 and Iran. We have conferred with our fellow Jewish organizations and met privately with the White House, the Secretary of State, and representatives of the State of Israel. Right now, we are continuing our ongoing dialogue with the U.S. administration, key members of Congress, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and other prominent Israeli leaders including leaders of the opposition. One helpful touchstone for our analysis of this agreement is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Public Statement on U.S. Policy Toward the Iran Nuclear Negotiations, which was endorsed by a panel of bipartisan diplomats and calls for a five-point program ensuring that Iran will not become a nuclear threshold state.

In the coming days and weeks, we will go back to our trusted experts and continue to consult with our constituencies to better understand the consequences of this proposed agreement. We urge all committed parties to take similar, carefully considered approaches before rushing to conclusions.

As Congress moves forward, we will share our opinion on the viability of this agreement to achieve our goals: that the final agreement will put the optimal standard for restraints on Iran, preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, protecting the security of the United States, Israel and our allies around the world.

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From the URJ

5 Responses to “Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Proposed Nuclear Agreement with Iran”

  1. avatar
    Daniel Burnstein Reply July 15, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for your deep breath of fairness and reflection.

  2. avatar

    What happens if the nuclear deal is rejected? We do not go back to the status quo ante. The hardliners in Iran become much more powerful, if not in control. Iran starts working full speed on the nuclear bomb. In my estimation, rejection of the understanding results in a nuclear armed Iran, with no constraints, much sooner than if it is accepted. This would cause the Saudis (with the help of Pakistan) to develop their own nuclear weapon.
    Furthermore, any potential cooperation between the US (and Europe) with Iran with regard to situations like Hezbollah and Hamas changes to overt hostility.
    With the state of US relations with Russia and China, I don’t think the sanctions will remain as successful as they have been. Particularly if the Europeans are ready to accept the deal, only to be frustrated (at least in their eyes) by intransigence on the part of the US.
    Without having seen what the deal is, one can’t say that there may be something in it that is truly unacceptable. However, that will need to be weighed against the reaction in Iran and the rest of the world to a US rejection of the treaty.

  3. avatar
    Gerald Fleischmann Reply July 17, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Along with us helping Iran become the kind of nuclear threshold country we say we don’t want, we’ll also be helping them with their Nuclear Safety, Safeguards and Security programs, too. This will include, and I quote from the “agreement,”
    “10. Co-operation in the form of training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems;
    “10. Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.”
    Now think, just think for a minute; can you think of any West-leaning ally of the US in the Middle East who did in fact set back Iran’s nefarious nuclear ambitions several years by taking out a large number of their capabilities, and who might be thinking they need to do the same again when their US “ally” throws them under this latest Iranian bus? Can you think of any such country? Oy.
    And it just goes on and on.

  4. avatar

    Even Neville Chamberlain, after he joined Winston Churchill’s cabinet, came to the realization that there are people with whom negotiation is a waste of time.

    I don’t know if President Obama is the American Neville Chamberlain. He may be another Woodrow Wilson who sowed the seeds of WWII by allowing an unjust peace to be imposed. In the current situation, do we really believe that the Saudi’s, the Egyptians, the Turks, and others in that region will allow Iran a monopoly on nuclear weapons and set themselves up for nuclear blackmail? Will we have an arms race in that volatile part of the world?

    Consider that for seventy years, the United States has had a monopoly on nuclear weapons in North America and the entire western hemisphere. None of our neighbors seem threatened with nuclear blackmail. Will Iran’s neighbors feel the same about Iran? I doubt it.

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