The Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, issued the following statement in response to the framework agreement reached between the “P5+1” and the Iranian government.
“In 2012, President Barack Obama declared that ‘the deal we’ll accept’ with Iran ‘is that they end their nuclear program’ and ‘abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.’ The elements of the framework of a deal announced yesterday by the President and Secretary of State appear to fall short of that stated goal.
Under the agreement announced Thursday, enrichment will continue with 5,000 centrifuges for a decade, and all restraints on it will end in 15 years. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities — including the Fordow center buried under a mountain — will be closed. Not one of the country’s 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled and the existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be “reduced” but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In sum, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be warehoused for 10 years. Iran can still become a nuclear threshold state before 2030.
Moreover, the outlined agreement will provide Iran a huge economic boost that will allow it to more aggressively advance the terrorism it is sponsoring across the region. Yet, the announcements yesterday are vague in saying that U.S. and European Union sanctions ‘will be suspended after’ international inspectors have ‘verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear related steps.’ What steps Iran must take and what verification will consist of is unclear.
We appreciate the good faith efforts made by the Administration and the other members of the P5+1. We wish that a diplomatic solution would stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
We particularly appreciate President Obama’s stated commitment to consult closely with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ensure, in his words, that ‘there is no daylight’ between the U.S. and Israel on ensuring additional security arrangements for Israel are in place in the shadow of a final accord.
We acknowledge the President’s statement that he will engage Congress as the U.S. continues the negotiation process. The Orthodox Union will support those in Congress who insist that the Congress review and approve the details of any final accord. Through that process, we hope these many concerns will be resolved or, frankly, that a bad deal will be rejected and the Administration will be tasked with undertaking a renewed approach to this critical issue.”