Today, J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:
J Street applauds Chairman Howard Berman’s statement yesterday in support of President Obama’s approach to dealing with Iran. J Street shares the President’s and the Chairman’s belief that the United States has a vital interest in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability and their strategic assessment that this goal will best be realized through diplomatic engagement. We welcome, in particular, the Chairman’s statement that he has no intention of moving additional sanctions through the legislative process in the near future. As Chairman Berman stated, the Administration should be given reasonable time to pursue serious and tough diplomacy with Iran. The issues to be addressed with Iran are serious – from the country’s nuclear program to its support for Hamas and Hezbollah and the threats it poses to Israel and other countries in the region. However, the President should not have his hands tied by tight timelines, or his strategy superseded by a precipitous Congressional rush to impose a new round of sanctions. There may be a time for further sanctions down the road. However, that time is not now, and we urge Congress to join with Chairman Berman in supporting President Obama’s strategy and his timetable for dealing with Iran.