The threat of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is a matter of the gravest concern and utmost urgency to the world. With the completion of the accord between the P5+1 countries and Iran, the Jewish Federation believes it is critical that the world stay focused on the ultimate goal: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. As is, under the current agreement, Iran’s nuclear program is simply frozen and does not eliminate its future capability to create a nuclear weapon.

The Jewish Federation recognizes the hard work that President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman have put into crafting this agreement. At the same time, we have cause for ongoing concern. Iran has continually violated the human rights of its people, funded terrorist organizations, threatened annihilation of Israel, worked to destabilize neighboring countries in the region, supported Holocaust denial and created a covert nuclear weapons program. It is not a country that has earned our trust.

Consequently, we welcome debate on the merits of the agreement and close scrutiny by Congress. The 60-day congressional review window opens a critical period to examine the agreement and ensure that it has the rigorous inspection and compliance components that are necessary.

The United States, the European Union, the United Nations — particularly the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — and the broader community of nations must each work to provide the necessary resources, structures, and capabilities that are required to ensure Iran’s full compliance with an agreement. The diplomatic and economic pressures applied by these bodies in coalition were successful in bringing Iran to the table to negotiate. The same concerted effort must be used to ensure that Iran will never be allowed to possess nuclear weapons — Iran’s continuous threats to Israel and other nations will not be tolerated, and diplomatic measures must be vigilantly applied to assure the safety of our world’s citizenry.

Michael Weil

executive director, Jewish Federation of New Orleans

New Orleans