Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

THE THREAT FROM IRAN

Adopted by the 117th Annual Convention
of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
San Diego, CA
June, 2006

Background

The Central Conference of American Rabbis first voiced concern over the political situation in Iran in 1979, specifically with regard to Iranian-Israeli relations and the state of human rights in Iran including the rights of Iranian Jewry. Today, the multiple threats posed by that nation's regime are dramatized by the convergence of increasing prospects for nuclear weapons development with President Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.

Sponsorship of Terror

For decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been a threat to the stability of the Middle East and the safety of its citizens, as well as Americans, Israelis, and others worldwide. Year after year, the U.S. State Department's annual report on international terrorism names the Islamic Republic of Iran the world's leading state sponsor of terror. The Iranian regime's support for Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups poses an immediate and deadly threat to Israel and to Israelis. Iranian support for the 1983 suicide operations in Beirut, Lebanon killed 241 Americans. Iran's involvement in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires in 1994 cost 87 people their lives, and Iranian support for the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia led to the death of 19 American military personnel. The regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has trained and supplied insurgents in Iraq and is responsible for hundreds of American and Allied deaths and thousands of casualties.

Nuclear Capabilities

Despite the Islamic Republic of Iran.s status as a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its agreement to foreswear obtaining nuclear weapons, weapons inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly found evidence that the Iranian regime is seeking the capacity to enrich uranium, separate plutonium, and develop fissile materials that can be used as the core of an atomic bomb. [1] Currently, Iran can enrich uranium at levels that fuel nuclear reactors. Iran claims it is trying to establish a complete nuclear fuel cycle to support a civilian energy program, but this same fuel cycle would be applicable to a nuclear weapons development program. IAEA inspectors recently found trace amounts of highly enriched uranium in Iran, but had not yet identified where the enrichment occurred.

Iran has rebuffed, repeatedly, the proposals and the warnings of the international community. It misled our European Union allies through two years of protracted negotiations and recently refused an exceedingly generous Russian proposal regarding uranium enrichment. A further proposal by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany was recently introduced with a June 29, 2006 deadline and awaits Iran's response.

The United States and Canada cannot allow the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terror, led by a president who has stated that "Israel must be wiped off the map," to proceed with a nuclear weapons program.

In the face of such concerns, the CCAR resolves to:

1. Urge the U.S. and Canadian governments to:

  1. Support legislation aimed at slowing or halting Iran.s development of nuclear weapons;
  2. Encourage our allies to join ongoing efforts to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on the government of Iran to end its human rights abuses, its support for terrorism and its quest for nuclear weapons technology; and
  3. Urge the United Nations and other international bodies to oppose the Iranian regime's acquisition of nuclear weapons capabilities, using sanctions as necessary to influence Iranian compliance.

2. Urge its members to educate the communities they serve about the threat posed by Iran.


[1] Investigations evidence plans for additional uranium-enrichment facilities, and power and research reactors -- programs which could potentially produce fissile material for nuclear weapons (Federation of American Scientists; International Atomic Energy Agency).