Tag Archives: Arms Control
Anti-nuclear sign

Remembering the 70th Anniversary of Nagasaki, Looking at Nonproliferation Today

Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, the last time a nuclear weapon was used as a war tactic against people, almost entirely civilians. The blast left 60,000-80,000 dead within a few days, with tens of thousands injured suffering crippling injuries from radiation and tens of thousands more hurt from radiation poisoning. The anniversary of the bombings provide an opportunity to reflect on the destruction the nuclear weapons caused in the immediate aftermath and over the years, from heart-wrenching photos of survivors in the first days, weeks and months after the bombings, to the scars that will not ever truly fade away – both in Japan and throughout the global community. Read more…

The U.S. delegation kneels over a binder and tablet

As the Ink Cools on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Debate Heats Up

Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran have concluded their 20-month long negotiations process with an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, but the agreement still faces major hurdles and a divided country as it moves towards implementation. Chief among these is the 60-day review period mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (often known as the Corker-Cardin bill), which the Reform Movement supported. Read more…

Negotiators sit around a large table in Vienna

Iran Nuclear Program Agreement Announced, Reform Movement Responds

Early this morning, P5+1 and Iran announced an historic agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, while simultaneously providing Iran with relief from nuclear-related sanctions. The deal, which has been the result of nearly 20 months of negotiations, comes in at a sleek 159 pages, and many top experts, including those in the Reform Movement, are still parsing through the details. Read more…

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) shakes hands with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Senate Passes Important Iran Agreement Review Bill

On Thursday, the Senate passed important legislation for the Iran nuclear talks, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (also known as “the Corker bill”), by an overwhelming vote of 98-1. Applauding the vote, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the RAC, released the following statement:

We applaud the passage of a clean Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. The overwhelming support for this important bill makes clear that stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is a bipartisan issue of concern to all Americans.  We call on the House of Representatives to quickly pass the Senate’s version of the bill, so that attention can turn to the issue that really matters: negotiating a deal that ensures that Iran cannot obtain nuclear weapons. To that end, we reiterate our call to the Obama administration to remain firm in its commitment to resolve the negotiations successfully on favorable terms. Read more…

Response to Iran Negotiations: A Shift on the World Stage

In an historic press conference Thursday, the countries in the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China) reached a framework agreement with Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement will, according to United States’ negotiating team, ensure that Iran’s “breakout capacity,” or the time that it could take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, is lengthened to more than a year for the length of the agreement.

The framework, and the issues that it raises, is highly technical. Yet, we can say generally that Iran has agreed to place significant curbs on its nuclear program (by dismantling many facilities and making its uranium material less usable for nuclear weapons) and agreed to intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for sanctions relief from the United States, European Union, and United Nations. To learn more about the framework agreement, check out the White House fact sheet and the Washington Post summary. Read more…

World leaders in Switzerland at P5+1 announcement

Reform Jewish Movement Responds to P5+1 Negotiations

In response to yesterday’s joint statement of progress announced by the P5+1 and Iran, the leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement issued a statement saying that “a negotiated resolution … will be difficult to reach but all the alternatives to such a resolution are grim.”  Nevertheless, the leaders concluded that “we still have grave concerns about the ability of a potential deal to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Read more…

Unpacking PM Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress earlier today to oppose a nuclear deal with Iran. The speech has been controversial due to a breach of protocol that occurred when Speaker of the House John Boehner extended the invitation to speak without consulting President Obama. Many Members of Congress boycotted the speech, but many more came to hear what Prime Minister Netanyahu had to say.

Also in attendance was RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who issued a statement in response to the speech,

“I was grateful to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu. The issue of Iran’s nuclear capability is of critical concern to Americans, Israelis and people around the world. This morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made his case before the U.S. Congress and the American people. In so doing, he also clearly and rightly made an effort to address and ameliorate the partisan tensions that surrounded the speech and detracted from the real issue, which is Iran. He acknowledged the long-standing commitment of President Obama to the concerns of Israel that so clearly coincide with our own nation’s security needs and values.”

There were many different reactions to the speech, from The New York Times editorial board finding PM Netanyahu’s reasoning “unconvincing”, to the American Jewish Committee calling on world powers to “heed Israel’s warnings.”

The rest of Rabbi Pesner’s statement can be found on our website, along with our other work combatting Iranian nuclear development issues.

Sec. Kerry walks down a hallway with the Iranian Foreign Minister and EU Representative

Keeping up with the Iran Negotiations

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, will be holding informal talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiating teams on the sidelines of World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland. Yet the real negotiating is going on around Capitol Hill, where the newly-sworn in 114th Congress is proposing new legislation around the talks. Three different pairs of Senators are proposing new bills: Read more…

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