Appeal for Unity after Iran Vote

(Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) Stephen M. Greenberg and Malcolm Hoenlein - For more than a decade, the Conference of Presidents has been addressing the dangers posed by the extremist Islamist regime in Iran. We have been sounding alarms about Iran's drive for regional hegemony, support for terrorist organizations including Hamas and Hizbullah, gross violations of human rights, its long-standing drive for nuclear weapons, efforts to undermine U.S. allies and other governments in the region, and its repeatedly declared intention to seek the destruction of Israel. Despite any differences, there is a shared goal among all of our member organizations, the larger community, the Administration, Congress, and our allies that Iran not be allowed to secure or have the ability to produce nuclear weapons. There can be no time limit on this. Iran must never be allowed to have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Week after week, polls showed increasing concern regarding the negotiations with the Iranian regime. They question if the agreement will provide the safeguards necessary to achieve the intended purpose. They see the expected financial windfall for Iran as likely to be used for terrorism and other destructive activities. Moreover, they are concerned that the UN Security Council Resolution appears to allow for early termination of the restrictions on conventional and ballistic weapons. Israel should not, is not, and cannot be a partisan issue. The American people in every poll show overwhelming support and understanding for Israel. They recognize it as a key democratic ally with shared values and objectives. We hope and trust that the assurances offered during recent weeks regarding Israel's security needs will be met. The mutual support and cooperation between the U.S. and Israel are vital to both. It is essential for those, particularly Iran, who might seek to harm the U.S. and Israel to see that the two countries remain aligned. It is essential that the Iranian government understand, and believe, the determination of the U.S. and our allies to use "all means" to assure full Iranian compliance and cooperation. The calls for death to America still echo at Friday prayers, sometimes led by Khameini himself. History has long taught us to take the threats of dictators seriously. We do not want lingering disputes to inhibit or detract from the need to continue to address the challenges posed by Iran and other vital issues that we will face in the near future. Everyone should now be looking to come together on "the day after." We must emerge stronger and in a better position to ensure that the nefarious goals of the Iranian regime be challenged effectively and with determination. We must continue to educate and alert the American people and the world to the dangers posed by Iran and especially an emboldened Iran. Stephen M. Greenberg is chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein is executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents.

2015-09-16 00:00:00

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