Iran Deal: ’98 Hollywood Jews’ Back Obama

Norman Lear (Jesse Grant / Getty)
Jesse Grant / Getty

The Iran deal has the backing of “98 prominent Hollywood Jews” who signed an open letter, published in the L.A. Jewish Journal on Thursday as a full-page advertisement.

The list includes a variety of behind-the-scenes B-listers, but also features a few more prominent names, such as legendary producer Norman Lear, architect Frank Gehry, and a number of local rabbis.

The letter identifies signatories as “American Jewish supporters of Israel” and declares: “Approval of the agreement is in the best interest of the United States and Israel.”

Echoing President Barack Obama, the letter declares that “the deal that was reached is not founded on trust; it is grounded in rigorous inspections and monitoring.”

The letter makes no mention of concerns raised in congressional hearings about confidential agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing the inspection of military sites, nor does it address lengthy delays before inspections of new sites, or the fact that U.S. inspectors are to be barred from participating in IAEA activities inside Iran.

Under the agreement, Iran makes a number of pledges that can only rely on trust–such as the declaration in the preamble that it will not seek nuclear weapons, which is unenforceable. Iran also commits to additional nuclear monitoring beyond the limited, 10-to-15 year period of the agreement–but only subject to approval by the Iranian regime and parliament.

The letter continues: “We are united in saying that the negotiated deal on balance is good, that any available alternatives are worse, and that Congress killing the deal would be a tragic mistake.”

Congress cannot, in fact, kill the deal even if it overrides a presidential veto of its disapproval, because Obama took the agreement to the UN Security Council before allowing Congress to consider it.

Last week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) broke with Obama and opposed the deal, describing a better alternative: “Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.”

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the letter’s existence.


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