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In the wake of the recently announced agreement between the P5+1 nations and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the following statement has been issued by Carol Hyatt, President and Mark S. Freedman, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

 

 

“After years of difficult negotiations which began with the specific intent to dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure so it would have no path to a nuclear weapon, today we find an agreement has been struck that falls far short of the original intent. It appears that a deal has emerged that will only manage and contain Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

 

While we remain hopeful that these diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and while we recognize the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman have put into crafting this agreement, a long and treacherous road remains to be traveled to ensuring that Iran’s nuclear weapons quest will be blocked for decades, not just for five, eight or ten years.

 

President Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all of Iran's potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran's nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree. We also believe that phased sanctions relief should commence only after Iran complies with all of its commitments under the new accord including calling on Iran to account for all of its past weaponization efforts.

 

We remain concerned and deeply troubled by Iran’s support for Hezbollah, for its propping up of the despotic regime in Syria, for its support of Houthi rebels in Yemen, for its tacit backing of Hamas, and for its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—all of this and more makes the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable. As long as Iran continues to call for Israel’s destruction, we must treat Iran as the dangerous pariah state it has time and again proven itself to be.

 

We urge members of Congress to give this accord the utmost scrutiny and if they have any doubt at all about Iran’s ability to meet every single obligation specified in the agreement, including unfettered and unimpeded access to suspect nuclear sites, then we believe Congress should consider rejecting this agreement and endeavor to keep sanctions in place that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.”

 

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