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Reform Movement Applauds International Iran Sanctions Agreement

Saperstein: “We commend the sustained diplomatic efforts of the United States and other global leaders of the non-proliferation regime.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Liz Piper-Goldberg
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2010 – In response to the announcement of a U.S.-led agreement reached on intensified and expanded international sanctions against Iran, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The Reform Jewish Movement welcomes this week's announcement of a multi-lateral agreement to impose a new sanctions regime against Iran. These sanctions, which increase pressure on the Iranian arms, banking, technology, and investment sectors, are a compelling way to make clear to the Iranian government that its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability remains unacceptable.

We also applaud the diplomatic leadership of the United States in negotiating this agreement with Russia, China, Great Britain, Germany, and France. These new sanctions represent a crucial move toward applying economic diplomacy measures that minimize humanitarian impact and maximize pressure on the government generally and the Revolutionary Guard Corps particularly.

As the United States and its key partner nations have repeatedly recognized, a strong international effort must be coupled with tougher unilateral sanctions enacted by individual governments. We urge Congress to build upon these successes and move to pass legislation with additional restrictions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors aimed at reining in the nuclear efforts of the Iranian regime. 

Iran’s nuclear program presents a profound threat to the entire international community. The Union for Reform Judaism unanimously passed a resolution in November 2009 that urges for the implementation of effective sanctions against Iran until it cooperates with international authorities. Jewish rules on just warfare eschew weapons that would kill indiscriminately and create sustained and lasting damage to the environment. Such weapons in the hands of extremist regimes pose particular danger to the world and to those Iran has targeted for denunciation, including Israel. Iran’s aggressive posture toward Israel destabilizes the already volatile Middle East region.

We commend the sustained diplomatic efforts of the United States and other global leaders of the non-proliferation regime. In working to bring about a more safe and peaceful world, we look toward swift finalization and enactment of these sanctions.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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