AJC Iran "Implementation Day" Statement

Jan 17, 2016, 08:23 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC takes note of the announcement by the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that the progress made regarding the implementation of the deal meets the requirements for "Implementation Day."

When the JCPOA was reached last July, we concluded that this deal only delayed Iran's becoming a nuclear threshold state, while affording it benefits that will likely result in it becoming an even more troublesome player regionally and on the world stage. Iran's behavior since the conclusion of the deal has only reinforced our concerns.

We are concerned about Iran's ability to deceive the international community, as it has in the past (and as other countries, including North Korea and Syria, have done). The international community should establish clear benchmarks (beyond the provisions of the JCPOA) about what would constitute violations of Iran's obligations under the deal and what would be the penalties imposed on Iran in response to such violations; Iran must be under no illusions that it can evade constraints without invoking sanctions "snap-back."

In October and November last year, Iran conducted ballistic missile tests, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and in December – in a reckless act – it fired a missile within 1,500 yards of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. We call on the UNSC to take the necessary measures to uphold its resolutions, and the U.S. administration to respond appropriately to Iranian military provocations; at a minimum, promised new missile-related sanctions should be imposed.

We regret that the JCPOA fails to address other unacceptable Iranian policies: repeated calls for the annihilation of Israel; support for terrorist organizations; active assistance to the Assad regime in its murderous campaign against the Syrian people; interference in the internal affairs of other countries; and pervasive human rights abuses. Iran cannot be accepted as a legitimate member of the community of nations unless it fundamentally changes its behavior.

We call on governments to make it clear – to their countries' business sector – that the JCPOA does not represent a return to "business as usual" with the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. A range of tough U.S. sanctions, which AJC supports, remains in effect; Iran's non-nuclear activities, which are ongoing and destabilizing, are subject to continued – and likely escalating – sanctions. We urge continued vigilance and international sanctions against Iran's and its proxies' aggression and subversion, and the universal, formal designation of Hezbollah, which is likely to be enriched by assets unfrozen under JCPOA, as a terrorist organization.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee