Washington, DC — April 13, 2015 — In response to the meetings President Obama will have with Jewish leaders today where the Iran framework reached by the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany (P5 + 1) and Iran will be on the agenda, Paul Kawika Martin the political director of Peace Action (the largest peace group in the U.S. founded on abolishing nuclear weapons) who has been working on the Iran issue for over eight years and had the rare opportunity to spend time in Iran and has also visited Israel made the following statement:
The historic framework reached by the international community with Iran on their nuclear program, when finalized, will make Americans, Israelis and the world safer by thwarting all of Iran’s pathways to make a nuclear weapon and using unprecedented inspections and monitoring to ensure compliance. Without an agreement, Iran, if it chose, could produce enough fissile material to make one crude nuclear weapon in a matter of weeks and the threat of war increases dramatically.
Though Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to take an extreme hard line on Iran, former Israeli military and intelligence directors, some Israeli media and some American Jewish groups are more realistic and support the Iran framework and ongoing negotiations.
Another benefit to Israel is that a finalized agreement with Iran on its nuclear program may pave the way for more talks on issues like human rights and regional security that will further reduce Middle East tensions.
At the very least those skeptical that an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program is in the best interest of Israel should wait until the June 30th deadline to see what is in the final agreement and give some time to see how Iran complies with the agreement.
An agreement with Iran on its nuclear program is better than any imaginable alternative. Military strategists have said repeatedly that a military intervention with Iran would at best slightly delay any nuclear program and at worst start another Middle East war and force Iran to build a nuclear weapon even if they had no such program.
Any letters or legislation from the U.S. Congress that offers more sanctions or ties the hands of the negotiators are clearly meant to kill the talks. Poison pill bills like Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN), poised to be marked up within days, could delay implementation of an agreement for months and puts certification hurdles nearly impossible to clear, should be defeated. Scuttling the accord would be very short sighted as an agreement with Iran on their nuclear program would likely lead to productive negotiations on other items of concern with the Iranian Government. More sanctions on Iran are likely to only embolden Iranian hardliners rather than solving the problem.
Notes to Editors:
Statements from former Israeli military and intelligence directors:
Amos Yadlin, Fmr. Israeli Chief of Military Intelligence- “Considering that Iran now has 19,000 centrifuges, the agreement provides quite a good package. One has to think what might have happened if, as aspired to by Netanyahu and Steinitz, negotiations had collapsed. Had that happened, Iran could have decided on a breakout, ignored the international community, refused to respond to questions about its arsenal, continued to quickly enrich and put together a bomb before anyone could have had time to react. And therefore, with this in mind, it’s not a bad agreement.”
Efraim Halevy, Fmr. Director of Mossad and Head of Israeli National Security Council- “Obama was right, Iran capitulated. Netanyahu should accept the American offer of dialogue on the draft agreement reached in Lausanne, instead of signaling his intent to scupper it out of hand.”
Amos Yadlin, an Israeli general and former head of military intelligence, expressed cautious optimism about the deal- “There’s no reason for panic. Israel’s fate has not been sealed, our freedom is not in danger and all in all, we’re talking about an agreement with quite a few achievements.”
Israeli media support:
Haaretz, diplomacy reporter Barak Ravid
Ron Ben-Yishal, a veteran Israeli war and military affairs correspondent
Large American Jewish groups that support Iran framework:
Americans for Peace Now
What the Iran framework does:
The agreement includes five major components. Decreasing the stockpile of material that could possibly be made into fissile material. Limiting the quantity and quality of centrifuges that could make highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb. Reconfiguring the nuclear reactor (and securing its spent fuel) in the city of Arak so it produces an insignificant amount of weapons grade plutonium. Implementing unprecedented inspections and comprehensive monitoring. And lastly, scheduling and implementing the lifting of specific sanctions on Iran.
About Peace Action:
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace- Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika