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August 5, 2015 1:44 pm

Major Jewish Group Announces Opposition to Iran Deal: Alternative is Not War

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American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris. Photo: American Jewish Committee.

American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris. Photo: American Jewish Committee.

The American Jewish Committee announced its opposition to the Iran deal on Wednesday, after “three weeks” of discussions with top Obama administration officials, lawmakers and diplomats from Europe, Israel and Arab countries.

Though it heard arguments from President Barack Obama (who called the deal on Wednesday the “strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated”), Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and even spoke directly with Secretary of State John Kerry, the group said it was convinced the Iran deal would not prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In fact, the group expressed concern that the agreement pursued by the Obama administration and five other world powers — China, Iran, the U.K., France and Germany — paved the way for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state “even if it never violated the deal.”

In a statement released by AJC Executive Director David Harris, the group said it could not accept the nuclear deal because of the fundamental nature of the Iranian regime, and because it could trigger a nuclear and conventional arms race in the Middle East thus endangering U.S. interests and destabilizing the world’s most volatile region.

The group rejected the charge that the alternative to the Iran deal is war — a claim underscored by Obama when he compared the Iran deal to diplomacy that prevented the Cuban missile crisis from leading to an armed confrontation.

“We do not support war against Iran, nor have we ever advocated for the use of force, though we have always believed in a credible military option as a way of convincing Iran of our seriousness of purpose,” wrote Harris. “We understand that opposing this deal raises important questions about the future that no one can answer today with certainty, much as we believe that, faced with strong American leadership, Iran would find it in its own best interests to return to the negotiating table sooner or later. But we know with greater certainty that this deal raises still more ominous questions about the future.”


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  • Luigi Rosolin

    The negotiation with Iran to persuade the regime to stop they nuclear arm pursue is start on the wrong foot. First why China, the U.K., France and Germany with EU and underground Russia had negotiate when the sanction had been impose by UN(I wrong?)Obama foreigner policy with Hillary and after had fail and often support change that had turn out against western world. Egypt support to Morsi, Libya remove of Ghedaffi? had brake the country and so on and on. So this man who claim to be a Christian and said God bless you to Planned Parenthood, the bigger abortionist provide and body part seller, how US and other world citizen can trust such heretic that probably is a Muslim that is favouring they ideology. He claim the war will be the other option? That had happened also when a British Premier shake hand with Hitler and trust him for peace. The world cannot allowed extremist Islam to had another country with nuclear capacity in that area.

  • John

    The alternate of negotiating a better deal is not realistic. Why would Iran give more up? The hardliners in Iran do not want a deal. If we could get the whole world to intensify sanctions, it would probably be the best course of action. But how does America force Russia, China and the rest of the world to do this?
    No easy solution.

  • John

    With the deal Iran gets more money from lifting sanctions which it can use to build up its military
    Without the deal Iran is broke but will still make the people suffer and develop nuclear weapons in the next few years. Either way it is bad. But if basically every country in the world supports the deal and America rejects the deal, all those countries will probably lift sanctions and American sanction don’t do much.
    What is the solution?

  • Mark T

    AJC should not have weighed in. It’s entirely appropriate for AIPAC and J-Street advocacy organizations to speak out. Seems that people on both sides of the agreement truly believe that a nuclear Iran is a bad deal. The question is of what is the best option. However, when a Jewish group speaks for a larger group and not everyone agrees with what the Jewish Group advocated it is problematic. There’s another issue in which what happens if the deal goes through and the Jewish groups spent an enormous amount of political capital fighting a deal that was going to go through — what will be the next steps. These are serious questions that now organizations must deal with.

  • Novelian

    I can’t believe what I have been reading in those above mentioned commentaries and their misguided racist points of views! Wow!!! I agree with Peter’s comments, but this robin Rosenblath character…such arrogance! To think that, you could even entertain the thought of wiping out a whole civilization of 70 some million people is at the height of madness!!! And talk like this, we wonder why we are so hated in the world. And not in those five countries only! It’s everywhere! Yes, they will not tell you to your face but they’re full of hate. I have been there and felt it myself. I think this kind of hate is a direct results of Israeli policies and those Jews who support it here in U.S. through buying their way into our congressman and senators, who are hired guns of sorts for Israel. Obviously money hasn’t bought you love. Wake up!

    • Purple Canary

      Novelian – what an insipid straw argument from a Jew who wants to be loved! No-one is threatening to wipe out millions of people, certainly not the AJC – no-one, that is, except for Iran which (and you might have heard this) has threatened time and again to wipe Israel off the map, that Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable, that Israel is a cancer to be rooted out and so on and son on ad nauseoum. And now Obama has made a ‘deal’ that ensures that Iran will develop nuclear weapons unhindered, given them funding in excess of $150 billion dollars to do so and paved the way to the fomenting of enhanced terrorist activity against Israel as well as spreading its radical Islamic doctrine throughout the ME. And you blame all this on Israeli policies? You. Wake. Up.

  • Elisheva

    “The agreement is pursued by the Obama administration and five other world powers — China, Iran, the U.K., France and Germany”.

    It is obvious what side Obama belongs to: all of these world powers are known and sworn haters of Israel, whether they say so openly or paint themselves as “friends”.

    It seems they learnt nothing from the Holocaust. But this time, Israel is not defenseless and even if we stand alone, we will tell the world NEVER AGAIN!

    • Elisheva, you have spoken the inconvenient truth.

      Obama detests Israel, viewing it as an interloper in the M-E.

      Obama grew up and spent his adult life with virulent anti-semites and Israel haters such as Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi and Rev Wright.

      His actions show that he detests Israel.

      He has admitted that at the latest, in years 12-13 of the deal, Iran will be a nuclear power (he uses the opaque term “zero break out” time) in his NPR interview.

      He is a congenital liar on every major issue of his Administration, every single one.

  • nelson marans

    It was about time that the WJC made its decision to oppose the flawed Iranian deal. Hopefully with this statement, the remainder of Jewish organizations will echo these views, with the exception of those that are lackeys of our president, including the infamous J Street.

  • Finally a group that came to it’s senses and that OBAMA was not able to pull the wool over their head. Iran has to be brought back to the table. So tighten the sanctions and ask the rest of the world to do the same and this time for the negotiators to put the demands on the table including; the nuclear disengagement, release of the American prisoners, cessation of all terrorist support, cessation of all the public incitements and chanting of Death to America and Israel, and do not move on any of them, it has to be a full surrender on those and then lift the sanctions.

  • Clive Hyman

    Now get out there and campaign against this deal. Persuade Democrats in Congress to vote against it. Of course, that could be quite difficult because they’re the people who refused to vote in favour of withholding government funding to Planned Butcherhood who have been caught selling baby body parts. Such is the mindset of the typical American Democrat today.

    • Bryna Weiss

      Don’t be absurd. All legal medical facilities purchase human parts of abortions because it is the best way to do research that leads to cures and successful treatments for all diseases. A right wing sponsored, insidious group, opposed to abortion, has disgustingly set-up Planned Parenthood. Don’t fall for this b.s.

    • Luigi Rosolin

      Clive good observation: democrat and some other had allowed terrible crime happening certainly the abortion with all the crime associate. So how any one can trust a President like Obama and friend like Hillary: that had work hard to secure government founding to Planned Parenthood? If they are prepare to allow thousand of babies to be massacre and even wash down the body part market? Iran in control by an Islamic REGIME that is ideologically rejecting all other form of government and basic human right, like freedom of religion and expression plus is continually incite to destroy the corrupt western and eliminate them or submit. That Jews are the first to be in danger because they represent the opposite idea-religion way of life and supremacy tin doing thing that Iran is incapable. Iran regime with the militia is like the fascist of Italy or the German Nazi that cannot be trust. Iranian are mostly suffering by the hand of the Islamic regime that is also educating and brain wash many generation already. Giving them the possibility to had a mass destruction capacity like atomic bomb should not be even consider. I agree Obama is not doing the interest of USA or the western world and is scare tactic that the alternative is only war is the bigger lies of the century.

  • Michael Mayben

    The AJC is absolutely right in rejecting the Iran Deal due to the fundamental nature of Iran’s “there way are continued terrorism, money laundering, the threat war of throughout the Middle East mentality. And if anyone believes that there is any strong leadership in Obama’s negotiating team they are dangerously mistaken. Primarily due to the hidden profitable personal side deals that have been promised to Obama and his team the chances are unlikely they will be willing to to pressure Iran to return to the negotiating table!

  • Peter

    The deal is done. The time for negotiation has passed and why did these people questioning the deal now not give ideas during the negotiations instead of just saying that there should be no negotiations

  • ART

    Obama has prevented Israel from acting against Iran. By this treaty Obama not only protects iran but becomes its sponsor. The US and the cosigners apparently will protect the iranians from physical harm as well as cyber attacks. Will Obama provide iran with intel in case of an Israeli attack? Will US cyber experts defend iran . The University of amherst has already agreed to train iranian nuclear scientists It is clear that Obama has guaranteed a nuclear iran

  • Cal Simon

    Thank you to all the members of thr AJC for realizing that this deal will only escalate a threat of war on a scale this world can not even imagine.

  • I agree with the American Jewish Committee in opposing the pending Iran nuclear deal.

    The fact is that the United States cannot trust Iran to end its plans to build a nuclear weapon.

    Congress needs to reject this one-sided deal, as it does not allow for the appropriate inspection needed to ensure that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon.

  • Sarah Olsen

    Thank you American Jewish Commitee and it’s Executive Director Dabid Harris for the opposition to Iran Deal!!!!
    You are our voice in this deal.

  • It is so great that the Jewish organizations that always tout, “We Stand With Israel,” are now vocalizing that support.

    It would be great to see the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) stand up and shout it out.

    This is not a partisan issue. This is just bad policy. The Iran Nuclear Arms agreement permits Iran to be a legitmate, legal nuclear power in just 15 years — and that is if Iran doesn’t cheat. (Did we forget the goal of the agreement was to PREVENT Iran from becoming a nuclear capable state?

    Worse, the monitoring mechanisms are weak or flawed:IAEA Inspectors might have to wait 24 days (and longer) before they can go on site if they suspect a violation.

    And Sanction removal? After the initial certification Iran gets $50B and it could go up to $100B. Then, they can take the money and run, withdrawing from the entire deal at their option. As the biggest funders of terrorism now, one can only imagine what they will do with their windfall… They yell “Death to America after every Friday service…

    The president said “No deal is better than a bad deal.” The US needs to walk away. FAST!

  • Julian Clovelley

    Baloney – so where is the Plan?

    All we have here is “…a credible military option as a way of convincing Iran of our seriousness of purpose,” Which boils down to the military action option


    “…faced with strong American leadership, Iran would find it in its own best interests to return to the negotiating table sooner or later. ”

    Which rather proves Obama’s assertion that the alternative to negotiating a deal is military action which Israel might well not survive if it turns into all out war

  • America is creating the 3rd World War that will be a Nuclear War. Israel will have to destroy all of Iran and turning it into a nuclear lake.