Americans for Peace Now (APN) today welcomed news that the Obama Administration and its P5+1 partners – France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China – have reached an agreement with Iran to radically roll back and limit Iran’s nuclear program. APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:
“We heartily congratulate President Obama and his P5+1 partners, and their indefatigable teams of expert negotiators, for the historic achievement announced today – an agreement that, when implemented, will verifiably roll back Iran’s nuclear program, limit Iran’s nuclear activities going forward, and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It will also ensure that should Iran decide to break the terms of the deal and try to 'sneak out' to a nuclear weapon, both that the U.S. and international community have a far greater chance of detecting such an effort and are in a far stronger position to quickly determine the most effective course of action.
“From the outset, these have been the broad goals of diplomacy, as backed by APN. We have consistently rejected the unrealistic demands for a deal put forth by some other groups – demands like zero enrichment, complete dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program, calls for ‘permanent’ guarantees that Iran will never shift gears and pursue a nuclear weapon, requirements for some specific formula for inspections, and insistence that a deal also address non-nuclear issues like human rights and Iran’s support for terrorism. Such demands are widely recognized today as having little or nothing to do with a desire to get a ‘better’ deal; rather, they are about preventing any negotiated deal, even a very good one, in favor of continuing down the path toward war.
“The achievement of this landmark deal demonstrates that where there is sufficient political will, diplomacy can work – and can walk the world back from the brink of war. It is a deal grounded not on trust and goodwill but on far-reaching limitations on Iranian activities and intrusive verification mechanisms. Implementation of this agreement –key elements of which will continue in force for decades – will make Israel, the region and the world more secure.
“APN also applauds members of Congress who stood up for diplomacy and ensured that negotiators had the time and political space necessary to reach this historic day. In the coming weeks, Congress will have the opportunity to review all the details of this deal. It is a deal the success or failure of which will have huge national security implications – questions of war or peace – for the U.S., Israel, and the world. Given these enormous stakes, we urge members of Congress to eschew partisan politics, refrain from electoral grandstanding, and reject pressures to pander to outside interests. Congress owes it to the American people to support this deal – a deal which prevents a nuclear-armed Iran and averts another unnecessary, costly, painful Middle East war.
“Clearly, this agreement does not resolve every issue of concern with respect to Iran, nor was this agreement ever expected to do so. The Obama Administration and its P5+1 partners were correct to separate other important concerns – including Iran’s support for terrorism and its belligerent attitude toward Israel – from the urgent need to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. We hope that the nuclear agreement announced today, once implemented, will be a first step toward progress on the various other issues of concern with Iran. In this vein, we reiterate our call on the Obama Administration and its partners in the international community to look for ways in the future to leverage their new, constructive contacts with their Iranian counterparts to achieve these goals.
"Finally, we urge American Jewish organizations which have launched campaigns against this Iran deal to cease and desist. American Jewish organizations can play an important role in identifying and amplifying legitimate Israeli concerns related to this deal, and can work with the Administration and Congress to find avenues for further U.S.-Israel assistance, cooperation and coordination in order to address these concerns. However, it is unfathomable how some U.S. Jewish groups believe that undermining this hard-won, prudent, internationally-supported diplomatic agreement serves the genuine best interests of Israel or of the Jewish people.”