Agudath Israel Statement on Exit From the Iranian Nuclear Agreement

In July 2015, upon consultation with its rabbinic leadership, Agudath Israel of America issued a statement regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) expressing deep concern as to whether the agreement is in the best interests of the United States and its allies.

We noted that Iran was a rogue state that had fomented terror and destruction throughout the Middle East and had vowed the annihilation of Israel. Nothing in JCPOA had required, nor instilled confidence, that Iran would renounce these activities and objectives. And, indeed, the regime still adheres to its goals of terror and bloodshed. We further pointed out, as confirmed by many experts at the time, the agreement contained loopholes that would allow Iran to use the billions of dollars it would receive under the agreement to fund terror activities and would allow it to stockpile other deadly weapons and to eventually even develop nuclear weaponry after certain designated periods of time.

Moreover, we were – and continue to be – particularly sensitive to the perspective offered by the leaders of Israel, the declared target of Iran’s genocidal ambitions and, therefore, the nation that has the greatest stake in this matter. Both the prime minister and the public-at-large have been united in seeing the mortal danger they believe the agreement poses to Israel.

As these concerns and realities continue, we commend President Trump for withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA. While the U.S. and its allies surely negotiated the original agreement in good faith, and while it had the laudable goal of reducing the Iranian nuclear threat to America and its allies, including Israel, we believe the President is correct in concluding that the dangers of a nuclear Iran will not be averted – and might, in fact, be exacerbated – by this agreement.

At the same time, we believe that an effective agreement with Iran is not beyond reach and we encourage the President to do everything in his power to renegotiate the pact so that it will truly live up to its original promise and serve the best interests of peace. We are heartened by his stated commitment of “working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat” which will “include efforts to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program, to stop its terrorist activities worldwide, and to block it across the Middle East.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the President and our allies as they pursue this path.

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