NEW YORK - The left-wing organization J Street said on Monday that it is "deeply worried" about both US President Donald Trump’s and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “reckless” intention to re-evaluate the Iran nuclear deal, as the two leaders met on the sidelines of the United Nation’s General Debate.
“Both leaders have repeatedly made clear that on the subject of the nuclear agreement they value aggressive sound bites over real security,” J Street wrote in a statement. “They refuse to accept basic facts about its provisions, goals and successful implementation. Nor can they be trusted to heed the overwhelming consensus of their own leading security advisers and intelligence agencies — that the agreement has increased US and Israeli security and should be kept in place.”
Instead of discussing its repeal, the organization wrote that the two leaders would better focus on how to jointly respond to and confront Iran’s threatening activities, including its support for Hezbollah and influence near the Israeli border in Syria. But undermining the deal, they said, “would actually make this joint response far harder.”
“The agreement blocks the nightmare scenario of Iran engaging in such malign behavior as a nuclear power,” J Street’s statement continued. “Killing the deal would alienate the European allies whose support and cooperation Israel and the US need. Doing so could also put Iran back on the path to acquiring a nuclear weapon, and put the US and Israel on a path to a destructive and unnecessary war.”
The subject of Iran was at the center of Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump on Monday afternoon.
In a briefing with reporters after the encounter, the prime minister said that it is clear both Jerusalem and Washington see the issue from a similar vantage point.
He added that he senses a change in the American system regarding Iran, and that this is also influencing the international community.
Netanyahu is also expected to focus on this issue in his annual speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
J Street officials said they “strongly urge” concerned elected officials, experts and citizens in both the US and Israel to make clear to the president and the prime minister that abandoning the agreement with Iran would be “a disaster for the security and future of both countries.”