J Street believes that Iran obtaining nuclear weapons would pose a very serious threat to American and Israeli interests and to peace and stability in the Middle East and around the world. J Street strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s vile anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, its outrageous support for acts of international terrorism, its destabilizing and bloody meddling in the affairs of its neighbors, its buildup of weapons and forces in Syria and its deplorable domestic human rights record.
J Street therefore strongly endorses good-faith diplomatic efforts to ensure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. We supported the Obama administration’s approach on the issue, which emphasized strong international sanctions leading to diplomacy.
To that end, J Street supported multiple rounds of strong sanctions against the Iranian regime. We also supported President Obama’s early and successful effort to secure unprecedented multilateral sanctions through the United Nations Security Council.
J Street strongly supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed to by Iran, the United States and five major world powers on July 14, 2015. We worked tirelessly to ensure the agreement was not rejected by Congress, because we believe that it blocks all of Iran’s paths toward developing a nuclear weapon and is underpinned by a robust regime of international monitoring and inspections. The JCPOA thereby advances US security interests and removes an existential threat to Israel.
President Trump’s decision in May of 2018 to violate and abandon the international agreement blocking each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon was therefore more than an egregious foreign policy blunder, it was an unprovoked and unjustified assault on international peace and security.
The president’s decision was a wholly baseless rejection of the conclusion of our closest allies’ military and intelligence services, international nuclear experts and his own Secretary of Defense that the agreement is working. It flies in the face of the consensus opinion of the Israeli security establishment, expressed by Israeli former commanders who wrote last month that “American abandonment of the agreement would undermine not just the deal, but Israel’s security as well.” It sends the clear message to friends and adversaries around the world that the United States cannot be taken at its word or be relied upon to act in global — or even its own — security interests.