WASHINGTON (JTA) — Elie Wiesel urged Congress to enhance sanctions on Iran and the Obama administration to demand the “total dismantling” of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
“Our nation is morally compromised when it contemplates allowing a country calling for the destruction of the State of Israel to remain within reach of nuclear weapons,” the Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust memoirist said in a public letter posted in a full-page New York Times ad on Wednesday.
“I appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and the regime’s public and complete repudiation of all genocidal intent against Israel,” Wiesel said in the ad. “And I appeal to the leaders of the United States Senate to go forward with their vote to strengthen sanctions against Iran until these conditions have been met.”
The Obama administration has said a total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is an unrealistic expectation and has asked Congress to refrain for now from advancing an enhanced sanctions bill, saying it would disrupt talks between Iran and the major powers aimed at stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Michael Steinhardt, a major philanthropist, paid for the ad through This World, a group led by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a former Republican congressional candidate who has been critical of Obama’s Middle East policies.