July 19, 2023

NIAC Statement Following Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s Joint Address to Congress

Washington, DC – NIAC President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement following Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s joint address to Congress: 

As Israel’s president warns that an Iranian nuclear weapon is unacceptable, successive Israeli governments have taken actions to make a nuclear-armed Iran far more likely. Netanyahu’s lobbying against U.S. diplomatic efforts and to tear up the successful JCPOA only freed Iran from nuclear constraints and unprecedented inspections while poisoning the well for diplomatic solutions. Israeli sabotage attacks and assassinations inside Iran helped drive Iran to limit international inspections, harden its nuclear facilities, and significantly escalate its nuclear work.

Matters of war and peace deserve careful scrutiny, not one-sided fear-mongering and saber rattling divorced from the historical record. The international community proved under the Obama-Biden administration that serious diplomacy can prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and lift the sanctions that are punishing ordinary Iranians. But by ignoring this reality, lobbying against diplomacy, and urging for a doubling down on the spectacular failures of pressure and force, political leaders in the U.S., Israel, and elsewhere are making a nuclear-armed Iran a self-fulfilling prophecy and simultaneously undermining the self-determination of the Iranian people while further empowering their authoritarian rulers.

President Biden should know well that he has not made nearly enough progress in digging out of the hole his predecessor set for him on Iran policy. To avert more blowback amid his remaining guaranteed time in office, he must urgently direct his diplomats to redouble their efforts to deescalate with Iran across the board.


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