Tag Archives: Foreign Policy
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…

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

Questions Remain One Month Until the Iran Talks Deadline

We’re closing in on just one month from the deadline for a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program, and there’s still much that needs to be figured out before all the parties can reach an agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry will be flying over to Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday to continue talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamani-Nia stated that 30% of the work of writing out the technical details of the agreement are yet to be completed, and while there’s a possibility that the negotiations could stretch beyond the end of June, US officials are focusing on finishing by the June 30 deadline. Read more…

Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett at a press conference

Benjamin Netanyahu Forms New Coalition Government

Late last Wednesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the final deals to form his new coalition government. The coalition, which has a bare majority of 61 of the 120 Members of Knesset, comprises five parties: Netanyahu’s Likud (30 seats), ultra-nationalist Habayit Hayehudi (8 seats), ultra-Orthodox Shas (7 seats) and United Torah Judaism (6 seats) and center-right Kulanu (10 seats). Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ, sent a note of congratulations to Prime Minister Netanyahu: 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…

many religious symbols

International Religious Freedom: More than a Matter of Faith

In a world fraught with tension and uncertainty, it can be easy to lose sight of some positive changes and some ongoing issues that need our attention. Across the globe, religious freedom remains a dream and not a reality for far too many people. Freedom of religion and conscience are not only critical for individuals and communities, but studies have shown that there are many reasons why religious freedom is important and has effects beyond the realm of freedom of worship. Not only has a lack of religious freedom been linked with gender inequality, but also, freedom of religion is significantly associated with global economic growthRead more…

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