January 12, 2018 — New York
AJC noted President Trump’s announcement today that the U.S. will not pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and will again waive the reimposition of sanctions, but will take punitive steps against Iran for issues not directly related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The harsh response to protests against the regime, and continuing intervention in countries across the region, give the lie to the myth that Iran’s government would moderate its behavior as a result of the JCPOA,” said AJC CEO David Harris.
“Iranian leaders, including those the West consider ‘moderates,’ have detained thousands of protesters and killed at least 21, in addition to abusing, on a daily basis, the human rights of Iranian citizens,” said Harris. “The so-called moderates continue to support Iran’s destabilizing, violent activities in Syria and Yemen, and threaten Israel by underwriting Hamas and Hezbollah.”
As AJC stated in October, following President Trump’s decision to decertify Iran with respect to the JCPOA in response to its egregious behavior in many spheres, “it is absolutely essential that the Administration, Congress, and our key allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia work as collaboratively as possible on the Iran threat.”
For AJC, the heart of the matter is addressing key issues that were not adequately covered, if at all, by the original agreement. This was why AJC opposed the JCPOA in 2015. Specifically: (a) Iran’s ballistic missile development, which continues aggressively and menacingly; (b) the sunset clause in the JCPOA, which provides a pathway to the nuclear bomb no later than 2030, if not sooner; (c) weaknesses in the inspection regime that leave Iranian military sites totally off-limits; and (d) Iran’s regional ambitions and support for violence and repression.
Harris urged the international community to work toward ensuring that Iran does not flaunt the spirit of the JCPOA, clandestinely work around it, drive a wedge among allies, or, exploiting the flaws in the original deal, follow the long-term glide path to nuclear status that it was essentially, and tragically, granted in 2015.