Nov. 26, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today praised the efforts of the international community, led by the United States, and welcomed the interim "first step" agreement with Iran to prevent that country from developing nuclear weapons. In addition to its importance in preventing nuclear proliferation, the Task Force believes that this agreement has the potential to initiate major and historic changes in the Middle East. Such developments must not negatively affect the future of Palestine or the interests and security of traditional American allies in the region.
As the United States and its partners pursue the breakthrough in relations with Iran, it is vital to treat the interests of all peoples in the region with due concern. There are significant fault-lines and grievances that have defined tensions and conflicts in the Middle East, which such a breakthrough could help to resolve. The most notable of these are Sunni-Shiite sectarian divides, Arab-Iranian tensions and Arab-Israeli disputes, all of which have great significance for Gulf security and regional stability. ATFP believes that if the Western engagement with Iran continues to develop positively, and Iran has indeed adopted a new and constructive foreign policy, the potential for building bridges and beginning to heal some of these divisions could be significantly enhanced.
ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, "We hope that these developments positively impact the potential for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and establishing a state of Palestine, which is crucial to building a stable and secure Middle East."