August 7, 2018 — New York
Following President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order yesterday, which restored major sanctions on Iran, AJC CEO David Harris issued the following statement:
We support the U.S. decision.
Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It has propped up the Syrian regime and participated in crimes against humanity in Syria. It continues to arm Hezbollah and support Hamas. It calls for Israel’s destruction and seeks ways to achieve that goal. It undermines Yemen and threatens our Gulf Arab partners. It plots attacks in Europe. It tramples on the human rights of its own people, beginning with women, LGBTQ individuals, and religious minorities. The list goes on and on.
And all of this accelerated after the JCPOA was signed in 2015. As a reminder, and we heard it with our own ears from top American and European officials at the time, the nuclear deal was meant not only to delay Iran’s nuclear program, but also to strengthen the “moderate” faction in Tehran and allow it to devote greater attention to the delayed needs of the Iranian people. Alas, those rosy predictions have not materialized.
As AJC has said before, we earnestly wish that the U.S. and our European allies could have forged a common front in dealing with Iran at this time. For whatever reasons, it did not happen. We regret that, all the more so because Iran will surely seek to exploit the very obvious transatlantic differences.
Iran must know that Washington is determined to send a powerful message that its aggressive, bellicose behavior must change dramatically, or else it faces serious economic consequences. Yesterday’s U.S. decision should make that abundantly clear.