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J Street welcomes news that the Trump administration is re-issuing sanctions waivers necessary to uphold US obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program. Coming one month after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s certification to Congress that Iran remains in compliance with the agreement, today’s action is further confirmation by the administration that each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon is blocked thanks to the pact.
We share the deep concerns with – and have supported tougher measures to counter – the Iranian regime’s hostile non-nuclear behavior, including its development of ballistic missiles, its support for international terrorism and its egregious human rights violations against its own people. It is precisely because of these offenses that the JCPOA is such a critical and historic accomplishment, keeping nuclear weapons out of some of the world’s most dangerous hands. Efforts to undermine the nuclear agreement by broadly sanctioning the Iranian economy under the guise of penalizing Iran for this behavior are therefore unwise and ultimately self-defeating.
That is why we have taken the lead in seeking changes to Senate legislation (S.722), which includes measures that the former US officials most closely involved in negotiating the JCPOA say could abrogate US obligations under the agreement. Whether or not they stood with the strong consensus of US, Israeli and international security experts – and the solid majority of American Jews – in supporting the JCPOA when announced, lawmakers must ensure that the United States upholds its end of an agreement that even erstwhile opponents now admit is working.