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August 8, 2018 4:24 pm

US Jewish, Pro-Israel Groups Praise Trump’s Reimposition of Sanctions on Iran

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

US President Donald Trump. Photo: White House.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) and American Jewish Committee (AJC), as well as Christians United for Israel (CUFI), have issued strong statements of support for President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this week to reimpose a number of economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the July 2015 nuclear deal.

Trump referred to the move in a tweet on Tuesday, saying, “The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement, “It is our hope that the imposition of new sanctions will lead Iran to meaningful negotiations and bring an end to the variety of threats that the Iranian leaders have been making. Beyond its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been expanding its support for terrorism in the region and globally, undermining and destabilizing governments in the region, and issuing military threats, including against the very existence of the State of Israel.”

Stark and Hoenlein expressed backing for the ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran, saying, “We hope that the Iranian government will receive the clear message from the people in the streets that they want the country’s resources spent on bettering the conditions of daily life, expanding domestic investments, and addressing the vast drought that has plagued so much of the country.”

Furthermore, Stark and Hoenlein called on Europe to “support the US efforts” to achieve “a more comprehensive arrangement” regarding Iran’s nuclear program “for stricter compliance rules without sunset clauses, a prohibition against the development of long and short-range ballistic missiles, along with any weaponization program, unfettered access to military and other barred sites for inspectors, and, of course, a demand that Iran cease all human rights violations.”

“These renewed sanctions are the best way to end Iran’s aggressive behavior and designs in the region and beyond,” they added. “We appreciate the support of the administration and the bipartisan support of both houses of Congress.”

AJC Executive Director David Harris also commented on Trump’s action, saying, “We support the U.S. decision.”

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” he explained. “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.”

Criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, Harris stated, “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.”

“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,” he continued. “Yesterday’s U.S. decision should make that abundantly clear.”

Pastor John Hagee, head of CUFI, called Trump’s decision “courageous.”

“CUFI welcomes the return of U.S. sanctions against Iran,” he declared. “The regime’s economic isolation will only worsen if its malevolent behavior continues.”

“Businesses are fleeing the Iranian market,” Hagee asserted. “Iran’s currency is plummeting in value. And the Iranian people are demanding change. Iran’s support for terrorists and deception surrounding its nuclear program must end once and for all. As always, CUFI stands behind the Iranian people as they stand to unburden themselves from the damage caused by this oppressive regime.”

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