World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder voiced strong skepticism about Tuesday's nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in Vienna aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
“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 Tuesday afternoon, shortly before an official press conference on the deal.
“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.”
While Lauder expressed appreciation at the intense efforts by the P5+1 group of nations over many months to reach a deal checking Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he remained deeply skeptical that the agreement’s restrictions would ultimately prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
“Iran has in the past failed over and over again to live up to its treaty obligations," he noted. "It has maintained secret military sites."
"I fear we may have entered into an agreement that revives the Iranian economy but won’t stop this regime from developing nuclear arms in the long term, which would have disastrous consequences for the entire region and the world,” said Lauder. “As the famous proverb goes, ‘The road to hell is often paved with good intentions."
“Let’s hope that this agreement will be worth the paper it is written on; let’s hope that Iran will finally comply with its obligations," he concluded. "For that to happen, it will be critical that the international community remain prepared to reinstate sanctions immediately should Tehran fail to honor any of its commitments under the agreement."