ADL Welcomes President Obama's Assurance that Containment is Off the Table When it Comes to a Nuclear Armed Iran; League Calls on U.S. to Press Sanctions 'Now, Not Later'

New York, NY, March 4, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Obama's assurances, in his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that containment is not an option in confronting the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. In response to his call to allow more time for sanctions and diplomacy to work, the League called on the U.S. and its allies to press ahead "now, not later" with crippling new sanctions instead of waiting until early summer to take further action against the Iranian banking and oil sectors.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

President Obama was passionate and resolute in recognizing why the world cannot live with a nuclear-armed Iran. His declaration that containment is not an option of American policy as it relates to Iran was welcome and crystal clear. His statement that the military option continues to be on the table and one option America is prepared to exercise if called for was particularly reassuring.

The president laid out clearly why countering Iran is a shared focus and goal of both the U.S. and Israel and pledged to put the full weight of American power and tools behind that goal. He clearly recognized the legitimate and real fear and the sovereign right and responsibility of Israel to protect its people against this gathering threat.

The president still believes that there is time for sanctions and diplomacy to work. Given this, we call on the U.S. and its allies to press forward now, not later, in implementing a crippling sanctions regime targeting Iran's banking and oil sectors. The more quickly sanctions are put into place, the clearer it will be how serious we are and how serious the consequences are going to be for the Iranian government. This will underscore President Obama's strong message today. We are hopeful that the president and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can agree in their meeting tomorrow on a timetable, redlines, and strategy for going forward.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.