Letters to the Ledger Opinion

Advocates misrepresent Iran deal

The proposed Iran nuclear deal does not involve simply a political issue, any more than American inaction in the face of the Holocaust did.

As Ruth R. Wisse, former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, in referring to the proposed Iran nuclear agreement has stated: “This is the first time the U.S. will have deliberately entered into a pact with a country committed to annihilating another people….” (7/31/15, Wall Street Journal).

Only last month the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated on on July 10, 2015: “You heard ‘Death to Israel,’ ‘Death to the U.S.’  You could hear it… The whole of the nation, you could hear… So we ask Almighty God to accept these prayers by the people of Iran.”

Please note that these threats are by no means limited to Israel. As Senator Schumer has recognized, release of funds to Iran now frozen as sanctions could allow it to develop Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles [ICBMs] that can threaten our own country.

Iran’s threats of annihilation also violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed by Iran on Dec. 8, 1949, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 9, 1948. That convention does not punish only genocide itself.  Article III (c) and (e) also makes punishable acts that include: “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide” and “Complicity in genocide.”

In addition, the proposed Iran deal has a little noticed admission: It states among other things that all provisions contained in this agreement “should not be considered as setting precedents for any other state or for fundamental principles of international law and the rights and obligations under the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and other instruments as well as for internationally recognized principles and practices” (Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action, Vienna, July 14, 2015, Preface, p. 4, art. Xi).

If this agreement is such an excellent, highly commendable accomplishment for our country and our allies, as it is represented to be, why then is this plea even included in it? This plea constitutes an admission, however indirect, that this pact (1) does not constitute a reliable, positive example of promoting fundamental principles of international law; (2) does not constitute a reliable, positive example of enforcing rights and obligations under the NPT, designed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and (3) does not constitute a reliable, positive example of furthering other internationally recognized principles and practices, intended to prevent nuclear threats and attack resulting from the clandestine and illegal production of nuclear explosive devices.

We are fortunate to have in our community leaders who know the difference between nominal “leadership,” based on abdication, and true, honorable leadership, based on moral responsibility and moral courage.

We should appreciate and support these leaders, because we have a vital need for them now.

Daniel Schaefer

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