ADL Welcomes President’s Affirmation of U.S. Leadership in Preventing a Nuclear Iran

New York, NY, September 24, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Obama’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in which he reaffirmed the importance of America’s leadership, warned Iran that the U.S. will not countenance its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and called on the world to support the current Israeli-Palestinian talks.

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

In his sober speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama asserted the importance of America’s leadership and engagement in the Middle East and the world.

We support the president’s strong words on Syria, and his call on Russia and Iran to stop championing the government’s rule.

While acknowledging the new tone of Iran’s leaders, the president warned that “conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable” and made clear that Iran must meet its international obligations regarding its nuclear weapons program.     

We further appreciate the president’s reiteration of U.S. support for Israel’s security, its existence as a Jewish state, his call for all countries to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, and his recognition of the Israeli desire for peace with the Palestinians. We share the president’s goals of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace and averting the Iranian nuclear threat – each are objectives worthy of global support.

Yet those two goals should not be linked or equated. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one between two parties, which will be resolved through compromise and direct negotiations. A nuclear-armed Iran represents a direct threat to the U.S., its allies across the region and to global stability, which requires international strength and unity to prevent. Equating these very different objectives gives the impression that the dangers posed are similar and that the approaches to their resolutions are somehow linked.