Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

IranWatch

JCRC Receives In-Depth Iran Update on February 13, 2013

Analyst Mehdi Khalaji briefed JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council on the state of affairs both in and out of Iran.

Khalaji, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Iran has been transformed from a revolutionary government to a secretive, military government. Military and financial power is concentrated in the hands of Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Khamenei. But he is not omnipotent, and must mange conflicts among different factions.

In the nuclear arena, Khamenei has said that nuclear weapons violate Islamic law, but the Supreme Leader can overrule Islamic law if it benefits the regime.

Joining JCRC at the meeting were Consuls General and Deputy Consuls General from nearly a dozen countries.

Video of Khalaji's talk can be viewed here.

Ahmadinejad

The Iranian regime under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become a growing threat to security and stability throughout the Middle East and around the world. Their support of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Shiite militias in Iraq and Afghanistan undermine efforts to achieve peaceful resolutions to local conflicts, and contribute to religious and factional violence that threaten American troops and Israel.

Iran’s patronage of Hezbollah and alliance with Syria has brought Lebanon to the brink of civil war and caused untold hardship to Lebanon’s civilians. Their financial support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad strengthens these terrorist groups and gives them the means to commit heinous, violent acts against Israeli citizens, undermining efforts by both Israel and moderate forces among the Palestinians to resume peace talks.

The quest for hegemony over the Persian Gulf region by Iran through acquisition of nuclear weapons capability is a threat to the entire world. While there are disagreements over when they will achieve nuclear independence, there is little debate over their true objective. Whatever the timeline, efforts must be increased to stop Iran from successfully becoming a nuclear power.

Finally, but certainly not of less importance is Ahmadinejad’s continual calls for Israel’s destruction and his Holocaust denial rhetoric. The two are intertwined. His rejection of the truth of the Holocaust is linked to his attempt to de-legitimize the existence of the State of Israel. This destructive rhetoric poisons the minds of peoples throughout the Middle East, increasing hatred toward Jews, Israel and the West.

IranWatch will provide up-to-date information on Iran and ways you can effect change.

Steve Dishler, Senior Program Director for Israel & International Affairs is available for speaking engagements. For more information, e-mail jcrc1@juf.org.  

Special Reports

Text of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, June 9, 2010

Iran, China, and the Israeli Stick, December 22, 2009, INSS

The IAEA Report on Iran, November 16, 2009, International Atomic Energy Agency

BACKGROUND BRIEFING BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ON IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY, September 25, 2009, The White House Office of the Press Secretary

New Developments in Iran's Missile Capabilities: Implications Beyond the Middle East, August 25, 2009, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Cracking Down on Iran's Illicit Trade, August 19, 2009, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Iran's Vulnerability to Foreign Economic Pressure, July 22, 2009, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Dangerous But Not Omnipotent: Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East (PDF), by The Rand Corporation, Prepared for the United States Air Force

Confronting Iran: U.S. Options (PDF)
Convened by: American Foreign Policy Council and McCormick Tribune Foundation

This report represents the final product of the second working group on Iran organized jointly by the American Foreign Policy Council and the McCormick Tribune Foundation. The first such working group, convened in August 2006, examined the scope of Iran's global influence and potential U.S. responses to it. Confronting Iran: U.S. Options is an extension and amplification of that work— one designed to provide policymakers with concrete, actionable suggestions about how to address the growing challenge to U.S. foreign policy and American interests posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Community Response

On August 8, 2010, David T. Brown, Chairman, Government Affairs and Jay Tcath, Senior Vice President, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago had an op-ed titled "How Illinois is Preventing Iran from Getting a Nuke" published in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Steve Dishler, Senior Program Director in JCRC submitted an op ed to the Daily Herald (PDF) calling for continued action and vigilance to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

A JCPA Resolution on Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program (PDF) was adopted yesterday supported by our JCRC. It asserts that a nuclear armed Iran would be a grave threat not only to the State of Israel, but also to the Middle East, to the United States and to the entire international community. The organized Jewish community is called upon to devote maximum and urgent effort in trying to get the U.S. and the international community to cooperate on a diplomatic and economic strategy that will persuade the Teheran regime to abandon its weapons program.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 marks the one year anniversary of Iran's stolen presidential election after which Iranian citizens were beaten, shot and jailed in a glaring example of Iran's human rights abuses.  Despite clear-as-day evidence of Iran's deplorable tactics against its own citizens, the UN Human Rights Council has stayed silent.  Federation and AJC Chicago urge the Council to end its silence, condemn the murderous Iranian regime and conduct a full investigation into the shocking abuses that gained the world's attention.

Illinois Initiatives

A broad, bi-partisan coalition of state legislators, led by Senator Jeff Schoenberg and Asst. House Majority Leader Rep. Lou Lang, are co-sponsoring an amendment to a bill that requires $68 billion in Illinois' state pension funds to divest their holdings in foreign companies doing business with Iran's energy sector. (US companies have been barred from doing business with Iran for almost three decades.)

View a list of companies investing in Iran's oil and natural gas sector.

News Update

Read more »

Acton Steps

Urge your member of Congress to support the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 House Resolution 1400. The legislation closes loopholes in existing sanctions law, strengthens U.S. tools to cut off funds to Iran's nuclear program and prohibits U.S. nuclear cooperation with those aiding Iran's atomic efforts.

Iran: What Each Of Us Can Do (PDF)

Background Information

The Iranian Nuclear Threat
The Iranians are conducting a clandestine nuclear program in parallel to the public one, the aim of which is clearly the acquisition of nuclear weapons. The Israeli intelligence assessment speaks of three or four years; the Americans add another year or two to this timetable. For more information, see The Iranian Nuclear Threat by Dr. Ephraim Kam

Questions and Answers About Iran's Nuclear Proliferation (PDF)

The Geopolitical Stakes of a Nuclear Iran, Realite EU

Background of Russian-Iranian Relations, Realite EU

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Denial
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made the Holocaust a cornerstone of his foreign policy. He calls into question the facts surrounding the Nazi regime’s murder of 6 million Jews and taunts the West by claiming that they allowed the Jews to “steal” Israel from the Palestinians out of misplaced guilt. On December 11, 2006 his regime hosted a conference in Tehran challenging the facts of the Holocaust, which included an unsavory cadre of White Supremists and Holocaust deniers. This follows a cartoon contest sponsored by the regime in November whose theme was Holocaust denial. For more information, see Holocaust Denial Is No Joke and Iran Attempts To Position Itself As New Nexus For Holocaust Denial.

Iran's Human Rights Record

Analysis