The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest mainstream Orthodox Jewish organization, today applauded Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fl) and Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY) for passing an amendment to the Treasury/Postal Appropriations bill that would prevent the administration from lifting the economic embargo on Iranian goods. Last March, the administration eased on sanctions on Iranian luxury goods such as caviar, pistachios, and rugs which yield nearly $250 million annually to support the Iranian extremist regime. This amendment would prohibit any funds appropriated in the bill from being used to import any goods produced or manufactured in Iran.
“We remain firmly opposed to any easing of sanctions against Iran,” said Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs. “Iran still maintains an aggressive program to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. Iran persists in its development of chemical and nuclear weaponry and remains the foremost sponsor and promoter of global terrorism and terrorist groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Sanctions against Iran should not be lifted as long as Iran continues these policies. The most recent illustration of the blatant human rights violations in Iran include the conviction of ten of the arrested Iranian Jews and two Muslims on false charges of spying for Israel and the United States. These innocent men were tried in a closed court without a jury, with no evidence against them and received harsh prison sentences as high as thirteen years.”
“The Orthodox Union thanks Representatives Deutsch and Lazio for sending the message that countries that continue to destabilize regions of the world through terror and the race to achieve weapons of mass destruction and who persecute Jews and other minorities must learn that their actions will not be tolerated by America and our allies. Iran must learn that it will not be included in the community of nations until it demonstrates true change in its treatment of minorities and moderates its extremist positions.
Secretary of State Madeline Albright has said that the behavior of the government in Iran towards the ten Iranian Jews will set the standard by which Iran will be judged and that will affect the future of US-Iran relations. We will continue to support legislative initiatives that will uphold the sanctions against Iran so that the extremist regime will not continue their policies with impunity.”