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Washington, DC, April 2, 2015 - In response to the joint statement of progress announced by the P5+1 and Iran, the leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement issued a statement saying that “a negotiated resolution … will be difficult to reach but all the alternatives to such a resolution are grim.” Nevertheless, the leaders concluded that “we still have grave concerns about the ability of a potential deal to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.” The full statement is below.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, also issued the following comment:
At its core, the Passover holiday we will begin observing in just a few hours is about negotiating with a tyrant to deliver ourselves to freedom. As we think about our grave concerns about some aspects of the joint statement between the P5+1 and Iran, that story feels all too relevant. As the Obama Administration negotiates between now and June the final details of today’s framework, we urge them to remain firm in their commitment to resolve the negotiations successfully on favorable terms, assuring the American people and the international community that Iran’s nuclear program is transparent and peaceful.
REFORM MOVEMENT LEADERSHIP STATEMENT
The United States has today announced a statement of progress between the P5+1 and Iran on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. The position of our Movement has long been that Iran must not be permitted under any circumstances to obtain nuclear weaponry and the best way to resolve the nuclear issue is a negotiated agreement among the parties. We thank the Obama administration for its determination to reach a negotiated settlement, even while stating that all options remain open should a settlement not be achieved. It has led an international effort to advance these negotiations and to impose sanctions on Iran until the negotiations are concluded. A negotiated resolution of these problems will be difficult to reach, but all the alternatives to such a resolution are grim.
At the same time, we express our grave concerns about aspects of the announced framework. Very serious questions about such matters as inspection, verification, break-out time, and the timing of removal or easing of sanctions remain. Concerns raised by Prime Minister Netanyahu and others about Iran’s nuclear weapons program are serious and real. It seems clear that the Iranian government has yet to make the significant concessions that will be required of it. Since the final details of the agreement are to be established by the end of June, we urge the Obama administration to remain firm in its commitment to resolve the negotiations successfully on favorable terms, assuring the American people and the international community that Iran’s nuclear program will be transparent and peaceful. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and carefully consider the parameters and implications of relevant legislation moving through the Congress.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, and Steve Sacks, Chair of the Board, UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM
Rabbi Denise L. Eger, President, and Rabbi Steve Fox, CEO, CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN RABBIS
Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director, RELIGIOUS ACTION CENTER OF REFORM JUDAISM
Jennifer Kaufman, Chair, COMMISSION ON SOCIAL ACTION OF REFORM JUDAISM
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