The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago today released the following statement regarding the announcement of an agreement between the P5 + 1 - the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Russia - and Iran on Iran's nuclear program:
The threat of the Islamic Republic of Iran ever obtaining nuclear weapons is a matter of the gravest concern to our community and the world. The effort to reach an accord between the P5 + 1 countries and Iran reflects that concern and the goal of all peace-loving peoples: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
That objective has informed our advocacy efforts for the past two decades. In 2007, JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) unanimously passed its
Action Plan to Combat the Threats Posed by Iran
, aimed at educating and mobilizing both the Jewish and broader community. Such efforts led to the successful passage of Iran divestment actions by the
State of Illinois
, Cook County and the
City of Chicago
, as well as other actions.
Diplomacy strengthened by sanctions, rather than war, remains our strong preference and the wisest course.
As diplomacy and congressional review unfold, it also is a good time for our country to further accelerate its strategic cooperation with Jerusalem to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge against any regional threat. America's other allies in the region, those also threatened by even a pre-nuclear Iran, also need U.S. assurances.
While the accord addresses well-founded concerns, given Iran's deceit in previous nuclear deals, other Iranian policies remain relevant: its regional hegemonic aspirations; its regular threats to annihilate the United States and Israel; its role as the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism; its destabilizing of neighboring countries, including those allied with America; its theocratic, anti-democratic regime; its abysmal human rights record; and its Holocaust denial and unrelenting anti-Semitism. These Iranian practices also are the target of separate international sanctions that must remain in force.
The United States, the European Union, and the United Nations Security Council adopted a sanctions regime that successfully brought Iran to the negotiating table. The same united determination must ensure that Iran will never possess nuclear weapons. We look forward to a rigorous, healthy and, hopefully, civil debate, publicly and in Congress, on the merits of the agreement and precisely how it permanently blocks Iran's development of nuclear weapons.
JUF looks forward to participating in special briefings to Jewish leaders by both the Obama Administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and will provide our community with periodic updates, information and educational opportunities pertaining to the issue. Our JCRC, the community's public policy umbrella body, will examine the deal in detail and will explore adopting a broad communal consensus through its democratic processes.