J Street is encouraged by President Barack Obama's telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani - a possible first step on the road to solve the crisis caused by Iran's nuclear program.
Such dialogue is exactly the type of move needed if the parties are to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis in a way that preserves regional security and avoids a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. J Street views with cautious optimism the President's announcement that both presidents to have instructed their negotiating teams "to continue working expeditiously, in cooperation with the P-5 plus one, to pursue an agreement", and commends President Obama's commitment to "stay in close touch with our friends and allies in the region, including Israel" throughout the process.
A few weeks ago, 131 Members of Congress urged President Obama to test Rouhani's campaign overtures about constructive engagement on the nuclear file. We agree with the President's assertion today that "the test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions, which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place" and "respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of Iran meeting its obligations."