U.S. Must Now Keep Pressure on Iran to End Nuclear Program or Face Punishing Sanctions

New York, NY, July 20, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today cautiously expressed support for the four-month extension of talks between the U.S. and the other members of the P5+1 in their ongoing efforts to achieve a full cessation of Iran’s nuclear program. But ADL voiced concern that agreement for additional time reached in Vienna, which enables Iran to continue enriching uranium and gives it access to more of its restricted assets, presents "a danger that Iran will read the extension as a reward for its intransigence."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We support the U.S. effort, along with the other nations of the P5+1, to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. A negotiated agreement is the best solution for all parties and is worth the significant effort the U.S. and its partners are investing. Progress has been made, and the next four months will truly test if Iran is serious about closing the gaps or is only stalling for time.

Iran continues its enrichment activity and insists on its right to do so. There is a danger that Iran will read the extension as a reward for its intransigence. It is, therefore, vital that this extension is time-bound. Iran must understand that when the four-month period expires, so too does the international community’s patience with Iran and the process.

Iran remains on the cusp of a breakout capability to build a nuclear weapon. The final agreement must verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. Anything less would be dangerous and unacceptable.

Strong and effective sanctions brought the Iranian regime to the table and opened the possibility for a negotiated solution. As the talks proceed, Congress should continue to raise the prospect of stronger, more punishing sanctions and other consequences in order to increase the odds of success by November 24 in this final phase of negotiations.