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Reform Movement Welcomes Congressional Leaders’ Remarks on Iran Sanctions

Saperstein: “The gathering today affirms that there is a broad Jewish community census supporting the bold statements made by Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle that the time to take decisive action regarding Iran has arrived.”

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 10, 2009 – Following this morning’s National Advocacy Day on Iran, organized by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Iran, of which the Union for Reform Judaism is a participant, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome the timetables laid out in remarks this morning made by Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and echoed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Rep. Berman, lead sponsor of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194), vowed, “That is why I intend to take action on my bill ... expeditiously and at the most opportune time to accomplish our shared goal, if Iran does not reverse course. Absent some compelling evidence as to why I should do otherwise, I will mark up my bill next month and begin the process of tightening the screws on Tehran.” Majority Leader Hoyer said he would move the bill to the House floor shortly after the House Committee on Foreign Affairs marked it up; Minority Leader Boehner also pledged his support for the bill.

As the United States pursues diplomatic efforts to change the problematic behavior of the Iranian government, it is time to support stronger targeted economic sanctions and divestment to increase leverage in our effort to achieve credible assurances that the government of Iran will cease all efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability and will cooperate with international inspectors.

The gathering today affirms that there is a broad Jewish community census supporting the bold statements made by Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle that the time to take decisive action regarding Iran has arrived.

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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.



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