As I am sure you have heard, this has been a trying time for Israel as the United States, France, China, Russia, Germany and Britain attempted to negotiate with Iran. The negotiations centered around Iran’s nuclear program. As Israel watched the negotiations unfold, the Jewish State was alarmed that those at the negotiating table were not taking a stance that would protect Israel and the world from the nightmare of a nuclear armed Iran. At the last minute, France stepped up and expressed concern that the proposed agreement with Iran was not tough enough. In doing so, France temporarily brought the negotiations to a halt. The negotiations will resume next week.
Many in Israel and the United States are determined to ensure that the world does not give Iran what Prime Minister Netanyahu calls a “very bad deal”. Any deal that is reached must ensure a full freeze of the Iranian nuclear program. There can be no wiggle room and no rewarding Iran while she continues pursuing a nuclear weapon. And world leaders must be reminded that behind Iran’s charm offensive is a regime determined to destroy Israel, the United States and our friends and allies. We must speak up now to ensure that those sitting around the negotiating table with Iran next week hear us loudly and clearly.
As AIPAC (America’s Pro-Israel lobby) reports, the United States House and Senate members have spearheaded initiatives to strengthen economic sanctions on Iran in order to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
By a resounding vote of 99-0, the Senate on May 22 passed a resolution (S. Res. 65) declaring that: (1) prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon remains American policy; (2) it is essential to step up enforcement of sanctions against Iran; and (3) the United States will stand by Israel should the Jewish state feel compelled to take military action in its own defense against Iran. The resolution was co-authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Similarly, by a resounding vote of 400-20, the House on July 31 passed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 850), which will strengthen enforcement of current U.S. sanctions on Iran, expand sanctions targeting Iran’s human rights violations, and, for the first time, specifically authorize the president to impose sanctions on any entity that maintains significant commercial ties to Iran. The bill, which received 379 cosponsors, was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). A Senate version of the bill remains pending.
In addition to this legislation, back in August, 76 senators signed a letter by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that urges President Obama to toughen sanctions against Iran and bring a “renewed sense of urgency to the process” of stopping Tehran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. You can see the letter HERE.
I ask each of you to take a moment to contact our leaders in Washington, asking them to continue standing strongly with Israel against the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran. You can contact our Senators and Representatives HERE.
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom!