Remarks of Secretary Lew at the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group Meeting in Jerusalem (Excerpts)

June 18, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Let me say a few words about Iran, and the issues that both the United States and Israel face in dealing with Iran.  It is now clear that ongoing sanctions against Iran remain in place, and that the temporary, targeted, and reversible sanctions relief provided by the Joint Plan of Action has been extremely limited.  During the same six month period, Iran is losing a significant amount in oil sales alone from the sanctions that remain in place, more than the value of the temporary relief.  Iran sanctions are the toughest the world community has imposed on any country and its economy is suffering a serious blow as a result – an impact that is not being reversed.  As we approach the last month of the agreed upon period for negotiations, Iran’s economy remains in a state of distress that brought the government to the negotiating table in the first place.  This sustained pressure gives us the opportunity to pursue a negotiated agreement with Iran, in conjunction with our P5+1 partners, that will assure the international community that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful.  Make no mistake: we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.  We have always been clear that we will take the time to do this right, and we will not rush into a bad deal.  No deal is better than a bad deal.