Letter to President Donald Trump Regarding the JCPOA

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May 10, 2018

In a letter to President Donald Trump, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt outlined a series of recommended next steps for the United States to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons and that more effectively combat the regime’s hostile internal and external policies.

May 10, 2018

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

In the aftermath of your Administration’s announcement Tuesday regarding the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), we urge the U.S. government to articulate a plan that will include a series of strong, targeted steps, to be executed in collaboration with our allies, that will ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, and to more effectively combat the regime’s hostile internal and external policies.

 It is vital that the Administration, Congress, and the international community cooperate to reach an end that all desire: to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, as well as to curtail its aggressive militarism across the region, its direct threats against Israel and other U.S. regional allies, and its unacceptable, systemic human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals, activists and other groups inside Iran.

 The recent revelations of Iran’s nuclear archives confirm the regime’s long record of deceit and its intent to weaponize its nuclear capabilities. It also underscores how imperative it is for the international community to cooperate to halt the threat that the Iranian regime poses in the Middle East and around the world.

 Specifically, we would implore the Administration to move quickly to outline a series of measures that will address the threatening policies of the Iranian regime. This should be developed in cooperation with Congress and executed in collaboration with our European allies. All parties should  work together to apply maximum pressure against the Iranian regime through these newly reinstated nuclear-related sanctions, as well as imposing additional sanctions targeting other aggressive behaviors, along with more strategic U.S. broadcasting and a focus on human rights in Iran.

These additional steps should include:

 1. Recommitting the international community’s determination that the Iranian regime never be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, including through a robust and effective inspections mechanism, and the imposition of other diplomatic and financial tools. Based on Iranian behavior over the past three years, including its sponsorship and training of terror groups around the region and its unending support for the brutal regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, it has become crystal clear that an empowered Iran threatens its neighbors and endangers civilians across the region.

2. Implementing more measures to combat the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC has been the direct patron of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah and worked to subvert other governments in the region. This is enabled in part by IRGC interests who control much of the Iranian economy. Additional steps to deter foreign businesses from transactions that enrich the IRGC are also needed.

3. Additional sanctions to ensure iron-clad constraints on the Iranian government’s nuclear-capable ballistic missile program. These sanctions should hinder, and prevent if possible, Iran’s development of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran’s developing missile program also has serious conventional military implications for U.S. and allied forces in the region and for technological proliferation to Hezbollah and Hamas.

4. Pursuing a strong, united diplomatic front to ensure Iran not be permitted to establish a permanent civilian or military presence in Syria, with a specific emphasis on Russia. Iran’s expanding military presence in the country not only harms the Syrian people but also directly threatens Israel and other vital U.S. allies. Consider new sanctions and other measures to prevent an Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

5. Targeting propaganda tools of the Iranian regime through sanctions against Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). This entity is a crucial regime propaganda tool often used to portray human rights activists as treasonous and threatening to national security. IRIB also is used as a tool to spread the regime’s ideology of supremacy and anti-Semitism across the Middle East and beyond.

6. Reforming Voice of America (VOA) Persian. The U.S. has a critical role to play in shedding light on the behaviors of the Iranian regime. The Administration should move quickly to reform VOA in order to provide content that does more to promote democratic values and to highlight the regime’s widespread abuse of women, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, and political dissidents.

7. Encouraging international financial support for Iranian human rights NGOs inside and outside Iran. At a time when the Iranian regime is arresting Iranian dissidents and ordinary civilians simply for exercising their voice and expressing a desire for freedom, we can play a more significant role in supporting these important voices.

Constraining Iran will require a strategic and comprehensive policy in cooperation with our international partners. We urge you to take immediate steps to articulate, cooperate on, and implement such steps.


Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO and National Director
Anti-Defamation League