Issue Memo

AIPAC's analysis of current issues, policy and legislation.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel as a Jewish State (PDF)

    March 12, 2014

    Today, the State of Israel is negotiating with Palestinian leaders to reach an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution. Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to establish a Palestinian state, and calls upon the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to meet with President Obama this Monday at the White House, it is clear that Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s character as a Jewish nation-state has become an essential component for resolving the conflict.

  • Issues Memos

    Guidelines for Promoting a Successful Peace Process (PDF)

    March 04, 2014

    As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians progress, it is critical that the Obama administration keep in mind a number of key principles that are vital to supporting successful negotiations.

  • Issues Memos

    Agreement Must Guarantee Nuclear Weapons-Free Iran (PDF)

    February 18, 2014

    Today, the P5+1 and Iran begin negotiations in Vienna on a final agreement to define the contours of Tehran’s nuclear program. President Obama has said any agreement must “make it impossible” for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. In order to achieve this objective, the United States and its partners must insist that Iran discontinue elements of its current illicit program and dismantle existing capabilities to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, in the run up to Vienna, Iran’s leaders have publicly rejected dismantling any part of its program. Tehran must dramatically alter its position if the Vienna talks are to have any chance for success.

  • Issues Memos

    Final-Status Issues for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: Challenges and Complexities (PDF)

    February 07, 2014

    Israel is committed to the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and hopes they are successful. The issues confronting them, however, go to the heart of Israel’s security concerns. Any successful effort will require direct negotiations between the two parties without outside coercion. Below is an overall analysis of five key final-status issues – security, borders, refugees, Jerusalem, and mutual recognition. Over the coming months, we will discuss each in greater depth in separate issue briefs.

  • Issues Memos

    Congress Must Act to Ensure Iranian Compliance (PDF)

    January 14, 2014

    The interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1 goes into effect on January 20, with ongoing concerns remaining about Iran’s continued nuclear program and the extent of sanctions relief it will receive. As implementation of the agreement begins, Congress must take three important steps: (1) strictly oversee Iranian compliance; (2) lay out the contours of an acceptable final agreement; and (3) advance legislation that will spell out the consequences for Tehran if it violates the interim deal or rebuffs a verifiable final pact ending Iran’s nuclear weapons pursuit.

  • Issues Memos

    Israeli Actions Building Atmosphere for Peace (PDF)

    January 10, 2014

    Since the resumption of peace talks in the summer of 2013, Israel has taken important low-key steps to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians and enhance the prospects for productive dialogue. The international community should acknowledge Israel’s efforts for peace and encourage the Palestinian leadership to match them and cease its hostile rhetoric of incitement.

  • Issues Memos

    American Public Opinion on Iran (PDF)

    December 20, 2013

    Three recent national polls were conducted to gauge the American public’s opinion on Iran. This document presents questions and answers from those surveys.

  • Issues Memos

    Key Lawmakers Urge Increased Pressure on Iran (PDF)

    December 04, 2013

    Key congressional leaders from both parties are continuing to scrutinize the recent interim agreement signed with Iran. A senior bipartisan group of senators is arguing the importance of confronting Iran with prospective additional sanctions if it violates the agreement or continues its nuclear weapons quest. Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have echoed these sentiments, insisting that any deal with Iran be “something other than a tactical pause on Iran’s march toward a military nuclear capability.”

  • Issues Memos

    The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act (PDF)

    November 27, 2013

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  • Issues Memos

    U.S. Must Prevent a Nuclear-Capable Iran (PDF)

    November 25, 2013

    Now that the P5+1 has inked an initial agreement with Iran, America must not only ensure full Iranian compliance but also insist that any final deal deny Tehran a nuclear weapons capability. Tough sanctions legislation passed by Congress and vigorous diplomacy pursued by the administration have brought Iran to negotiations. However, the initial agreement raises many concerns—including implicit acceptance of Iranian enrichment. Congress has provided the leverage to spur Iran to seek talks; now it must press the administration to negotiate a verifiable agreement that will prevent Iran from ever building nuclear weapons. Congress must also legislate additional sanctions, so that Iran will face immediate consequences should it renege on its commitments or refuse to negotiate an acceptable final agreement.

  • Issues Memos

    Israel Takes Robust Steps to Advance Peace Prospects with the Palestinians (PDF)

    November 15, 2013

    Israel has initiated a variety of important measures over the past six months to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians and enhance the atmosphere for peace negotiations. The international community should acknowledge Israel’s steps for peace and encourage the Palestinian leadership to match them.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Has No 'Inalienable' Right to Uranium Enrichment (PDF)

    October 17, 2013

    In the run-up to the P5+1 nuclear talks with Tehran this week, Iranian leaders asserted an “inalienable” right to enrich uranium. In reality, as U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman has clearly asserted, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) does not speak about the right of enrichment. Even if there were such a right, Iran’s extensive decades-long violations of the NPT would have negated it. The international community has spoken explicitly to that issue through United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions directing Iran to suspend enrichment. These resolutions constitute the highest form of international law. Tehran must comply forthwith and halt all of its illicit nuclear activities. Instead, Iran has the uncontested ability, utilized by many other countries, to pursue peaceful nuclear energy without domestic enrichment.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Must Suspend Nuclear Activities for Diplomacy to Succeed (PDF)

    October 07, 2013

    The United States and its partners are on the verge of renewing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. To provide the necessary time and space for discussions, Tehran must suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities. Iran’s nuclear activities have brought it so close to a nuclear weapons capability that time for successful negotiations will run out if the regime continues on its present course. To avoid any misunderstanding in Tehran, America must clearly signal that it will consider no easing of sanctions until Iran has verifiably suspended its nuclear program. If Iran’s nuclear activities continue, the United States and the international community should escalate sanctions and reinforce President Obama’s message that a credible military option is on the table to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

  • Issues Memos

    Negotiations with Iran Must Be Backed by Strength (PDF)

    September 20, 2013

    As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, international powers are expected to renew talks soon with Iran about its nuclear program. Washington can improve the prospects of success for such talks by taking steps to expand sanctions against Iran and to enhance the credibility of the option to use force. The international community should only consider sanctions relief if Iran complies with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that require suspending its nuclear activities. Any such relief must be commensurate with the extent of Tehran's actions.

  • Issues Memos

    Iran Nuclear Capacity Grows (PDF)

    August 30, 2013

    Iran continues to expand its capacity to enrich uranium, shortening the time it would need to produce sufficient highly enriched uranium for a nuclear device. Since President Hassan Rouhani’s election, Iran has installed some 2,000 additional centrifuges, according to a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.  While the United States should test whether President Rouhani is serious about nuclear negotiations, we must toughen sanctions until Tehran begins to change course.