June 16, 2012—New York—AJC praised a bipartisan letter signed by 44 U.S. Senators urging the Obama Administration to rethink the utility of future talks with Iran unless specific, verifiable criteria are met.
The letter and congressional initiative, spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo), set several preconditions for any further talks beyond the latest round scheduled to resume on Monday in Moscow. "Amongst the absolute minimum steps it [Iran] must take immediately are shutting down of the Fordow facility, freezing enrichment above five percent, and shipping all uranium enriched above five percent out of the country,” wrote the Senators. The letter questioned the wisdom of any additional talks post-Moscow unless Iran agrees to these steps, adheres to UN Security Council resolutions and opens its facilities to thorough IAEA inspections.
“These Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, understand the cunning nature of the Iranian regime and its skilled negotiators,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "While AJC stands firmly behind the efforts of the P5+1 to secure a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear question, we must recognize that while the envoys talk and trade missives in Istanbul, Baghdad, and now Moscow, the centrifuges continue to spin.”
Senior Obama Administration officials, from the President himself to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have stated unambiguously that the “window of opportunity” for a peaceful resolution to this crisis “will not remain open forever.”
“In the end, only a mixture of crippling and unrelenting sanctions, a credible military threat and political isolation will convince Tehran that the world’s powers mean what they say,” Harris concluded.
Global leaders will have another opportunity to either shun or embrace the Iranian regime at the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Jainero. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to attend and seek meetings with visiting delegations. AJC has called upon all world leaders in attendance to rebuff any Iranian overtures.