J Street Calls for Passage of Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (IRPSA)

December 7, 2009

J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby, today announced its support for Congressional passage of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009. “J Street has consistently supported President Obama in his efforts to engage Iran diplomatically and to resolve issues relating to its nuclear program through negotiations,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s Executive Director.  “However, in the face of Iran’s continued defiance of the international community and its rejection of the most recent diplomatic offer on nuclear enrichment, we believe the time has come to pass the Iran sanctions legislation currently pending in the House of Representatives. “Passage of this bill by Congress will highlight for the Iranian Government the choice they must make between one path that leads to further isolation and another that leads to full integration in the international community and the ability to develop their economy to its full potential,” Ben-Ami added. It is vital to the interests of the United States, Israel, and the entire Middle East that Iran not obtain nuclear weapons. While the President’s approach – emphasizing diplomacy and international engagement – has not yet yielded the desired response from Iran, the past year of tireless American statesmanship has made the international community more united than ever in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This support was evident in last month’s IAEA resolution that censured Iran and received support from 27 countries, including Russia and China. As Iran continues to flout its international obligations and announce provocative expansions of its nuclear enrichment program, J Street believes that the administration should pursue strong multilateral action in the form of economic sanctions through the United Nations Security Council.  Any action taken against Iran should have the broadest possible support in the international community. Nothing in IRPSA should be taken as authorizing or encouraging the use of military force against Iran, and J Street remains strongly opposed to the use of military force by Israel or the United States against Iran.