The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Tuesday expressed concern over the deal that was reached between Iran and the six world powers on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
In a statement, the pro-Israel lobby noted it has consistently supported diplomatic efforts to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons appreciates the Obama administration’s efforts on this.
At the same time, said AIPAC, “During these negotiations, we outlined five critical requirements for a good deal. We are deeply concerned based on initial reports that this proposed agreement may not meet these requirements, and thereby would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.”
“As the administration has agreed, now is the time for Congress to carefully review all elements of the proposed agreement to ensure that Iran is verifiably prevented from attaining a nuclear weapon. We intend to examine closely the details of the agreement against that standard, and we will then issue a fuller assessment,” it added.
AIPAC was not the only Jewish organization to express skepticism over the deal. Earlier Tuesday, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder also voiced strong skepticism over the agreement.
“We are still looking forward to getting all the details of this agreement, with the hope that the verification process will allow inspectors to determine Iran’s true aims," Lauder stated.
“So far, this agreement is just a piece of paper," he added. "It is not a legally binding treaty, and there is no reason to trust Iran over its implementation."
"Tehran has a long history of misleading the world," he continued. "Last Friday’s government-sponsored ‘Quds Day’ rallies, in which the masses again shouted ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel,’ are a good example of why we shouldn’t be overly optimistic.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decried the deal as a "bitter mistake of historic proportions" at a press conference with visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.
"In every area where it was supposed to prevent Iran attaining nuclear arms capability, there were huge compromises," he added. "I will refer later to the details of the agreement, but before that, I would like to say here and now – when you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result."
Netanyahu later made clear that Israel “is not bound by this deal with Iran, because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves."
President Barack Obama, however, insisted the deal was a good one and that it would reduce the risk of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, while Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed Netanyahu's criticism as “comments that are way over the top".