Time for Congress to focus on “day after”

by Jared Feldman

Focus should shift to enforcement of Iran deal, rebuilding relationships

Washington, D.C. – In recent days, several Senators have announced their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement between the P5+1 nations and Iran.  It is now clear that Congress will not be able to override a Presidential veto of a resolution of disproval of the agreement.  In that context, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) issues the following statement:

The debate over the JCPOA has been thorough and intense. We especially appreciate the diligent manner in which so many elected officials have examined the deal. During the past few months, passions have run high, and some of our leaders on both sides of the issue have faced unfortunate and inappropriate attacks.  Hopefully, we will now be able to turn the page.  The time has come for our communities and our nation to reunite towards fulfilling our common goal of preventing a nuclear armed Iran.  Our hope is that, with the JCPOA’s expected approval, Congress and the Obama administration will work together, along with our allies, to enforce its provisions thoughtfully and rigorously.

There is much work that remains to be done.  Iran continues to violate the human rights of its people, to destabilize the region, and to sponsor terrorism.  Along these lines, the JCPA has several suggestions which, although not exhaustive, are among the best ways to pursue the JCPOA’s goals and confront Iran’s subversive ambitions. These recommendations include: 

  • Developing a structured congressional review procedure to ensure compliance and accountability during the implementation of the JCPOA.
  • Working with the P5+1 to clarify key elements of the JCPOA, such as the timely inspections of non-declared sites that may be used for design, manufacture, and assembly of prohibited non-nuclear materials.
  • Ensuring that individuals who were previously sanctioned under the nuclear program and still qualify for designation under anti-terrorism or other sanctions will remain under penalty.  This should be done in coordination with our like-minded partners to maximize the effect of the sanctions and eliminate any international misunderstandings.
  • Providing all available support, including financial resources, technology, and intelligence, to ensure effective International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.
  • Creating an additional comprehensive strategy to deter the spread of Iranian funding or other material support to terrorist groups. 
  • Sharing of defensive military technology to protect our allies, including Israel, against Iranian aggression.
  • Coordinating with our partners, particularly the European Union, on enforcement of non-material breaches of the agreement that will not trigger the ‘snap-back’ procedure but could present a cumulative danger. 

It is time to focus our national energies towards working together across political and ideological divides.  We must stand united in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and keep our allies in the Middle East, namely Israel, assured of their safety and security. 

JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.


About the Author


Jared Feldman