ADL Deeply Disappointed After Early Assessment of Final Deal with Iran

Says it Falls Short of Preventing Regime from Becoming Nuclear Weapon State; Expects Thorough Congressional Review

New York, NY, July 14, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed serious concern about shortcomings in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced by President Obama saying the agreement appears to “fall far short” of assuring that Iran will not become a nuclear weapon state.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We are deeply disappointed by the terms of the final deal with Iran announced today which seem to fall far short of the President’s objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. The thrust of the deal relies substantially on Iran’s good faith and the ability of the IAEA to effectively carry out its inspection obligations.

While President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Wendy Sherman and the P5+1 negotiators invested a formidable amount of effort in securing a respite from the most  immediate threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions, the JCPOA does not prevent it for the long term.  In ten years, Iran will be able to rapidly expand its enrichment capacity. 

At best, if Iran fully complies with the terms of the JCPOA, its nuclear weapons ambitions will be deferred during the 10 to 15 year term of most restrictions.  At worst, in the view of many highly respected experts, Iran will continue to clandestinely pursue illicit activities, like weaponization research.  At the same time, serious questions remain about whether the agreed inspection regime will deter or catch Iranian cheating.  Meanwhile, the front-end loaded infusion of billions of dollars in sanctions relief will finance Iran’s ongoing global campaign of terror against Israel and other U.S. allies, and be used to further exert its influence across the Middle East thereby harming U.S. interests.

All this will likely transpire when much of the international community considers the Iranian issue resolved and when focus and initiative to counter Iranian action will have petered out.      

Faced with President Obama's unequivocal commitment to veto any vote in Congress disapproving the JCPOA, the role of Congress is critically important.  In the weeks ahead, Congress must carefully scrutinize this agreement and weigh the concerns of non-proliferation experts, assess the national security implications for the U.S. in light of Iran's destabilizing and deadly meddling in conflicts throughout the region and consider the views of America's allies and friends in the region.

Congress and the American people now move to debate a national security matter of utmost significance and seriousness. We urge an open and respectful consideration that rejects partisan or ad hominem attacks on the intent or the character of proponents on either side of the issues.

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