By Gordon Haas
As I write this blog we are living in a transitional time. ISIS is on the rise and continuing its ongoing violent march through the Middle East, heading toward the border of Israel. Anti-Semitism in Europe is increasing. Iran is building up its military and its anti-Semitic rhetoric at the same time that the P5+1 is working to ensure that Iran does not get access to nuclear weapons. Many people in our community are asking what this means for our future and what actions we should take.
During the last couple of months there has been a great focus on the P5 +1 Joint Plan of Action with Iran and whether or not this framework is good for Israel, the United States, and our allies. There was public disagreement among lawmakers and various advocacy groups. The media gave great hype to these divisions. The U.S. and Iran seemed to have differing ideas of the elements that would make up the agreement. The Prime Minister of Israel came to speak to Congress and then Congress wrote legislation to have oversight over the final negotiated agreement with Iran. There has been a lot of movement on this issue.
With all this noise, how can we best discern what IS a good agreement? How can we best follow the news as informed and engaged citizens on an issue that can impact our future for decades to come?
At the end of June there will be another round of P5+1 negotiations. Ideally, we want this to be the final round. The CRC Iran Task Force of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest is advocating for negotiations that result in an agreement that cuts off each of Iran's potential pathways to acquiring the fissile material necessary for a nuclear weapon. That agreement must also put in place intrusive inspections and verification methods to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations. The agreement should ensure that Iran will:
- completely dismantle its nuclear enrichment infrastructure, including all the centrifuges used to create nuclear fuel;
- completely shut down Fordow, Iran's nuclear site buried deep under a mountain;
- make all sites available to American inspectors, including military sites;
- entirely shut down Arak, the plutonium enrichment facility that can have no non-weapons utility;
- dismantle every path to nuclear weapons, including uranium and plutonium.
We want to ensure that the result is a good deal for Israel and the U.S.
To this end the CRC Iran Task Force, in co-sponsorship with other Jewish communal groups, is hosting a program “The Emerging Iran Nuclear Deal” on June 2, 7:00 p.m., at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. We urge community members to come, hear the speakers, and ask questions. The program is free and open to the general public. To learn more, visit www.jfedgmw.org/iran or contact email@example.com.
Here are a few resources on the topic:
- 5 Requirements for A Good Deal
- Iran Nuclear Agreement: Not Necessarily a Game Changer
- How to Save the Nuclear Deal
- The Lausanne Iran Nuclear Framework Agreement–Good Deal, Bad Deal, Both or Neither?
I hope you will be able to join us on June 2!