J Street Welcomes Iran Project Report Calling for Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy

April 17th, 2013

J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams made the following statement today regarding the release of a new report by the Iran Project, “Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy,” which was signed and endorsed by 35 prominent former US officials:

J Street welcomes the new Iran Project report outlining a robust negotiation track, including two-way talks, to address Iran's non-compliance with its international nuclear obligations.

J Street believes a nuclear armed-Iran would present a serious threat to US, Israeli and global security, and has consistently called for using a combination of sanctions and diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

We agree with the eminent American statespeople who signed and endorsed this report that sanctions must be used in the service of diplomacy, and that the administration should continue to intensify its efforts to find a negotiated solution to this issue. The only resolution that can guarantee a non-nuclear-armed Iran-- a diplomatic resolution-- requires that sanctions serve as both carrot and stick: unflinchingly applied in response to non-compliance, but eased in exchange for significant, verifiable Iranian concessions.

J Street also welcomes the report's clear conclusion that, while the threat of military action should not be taken off the table, "the more the president threatens the use of force, the more difficult it will be for Iran's defiant leadership to consider any offer, and the more the president will be under pressure to use military force." This is a warning that those prone to saber-rattling ignore at the peril of US and Israeli security. An overwhelming consensus of US and Israeli security experts believe that a military strike would be unlikely to permanently disable Iran’s nuclear program. Such a strike would also strengthen the regime in Iran and spur it to redouble its nuclear efforts.