Hoenlein: U.S. officials send mixed messages on Iran

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The chief executive of the top U.S. Jewish foreign policy umbrella group says the Obama administration is sending mixed messages on Iran.

"You get differing messages from different people," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in response to a question from Shalom TV, an on-demand cable channel that also recently launched a 24-hour station with linear programming. The question was about whether Hoenlein was concerned with any element of the Obama administration’s handling of the Iranian nuclear issue.

"You have to think about how the Iranians view it — it’s not what we say it’s what they hear that’s important — and if they perceive this as a confused policy, that the West is divided, that they’re not going to face the ultimate threat if they don’t eventually comply, it’s not going to stop it," said Hoenlein, who was interviewed while attending a fundraising dinner Tuesday night for American Friends of the IDF. "And if the Iranians believe as they do now, that the West lacks will and determination, led by the United States, they will never comply and then we will face a much worse situation than what military action might bring or anything else might bring."

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