Iran nuclear - AP - 12.9.11
Iranian and Russian officials at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, September 12, 2011. Photo by AP
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Jewish lobby groups in the U.S. called upon the international community on Tuesday to stop Iran's nuclear development program, or face increased threat of world terrorism.

Responding to the International Atomic Energy Agency report that confirmed Iran has been working toward building a nuclear weapon for years, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs urged the international community to employ "intensive and concerted diplomatic and economic measures" against Iran.

A nuclear Iran, said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow, would provide an "umbrella of protection to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah" and would provoke "a region-wide arms race that could destabilize the Middle East." Gutow added that a nuclear Iran would pose an even greater threat to American troops abroad and to U.S. ally Israel.

The Jewish Federations of North America - who is currently hosting its annual General Assembly in Denver, Colorado - emphasized the direct threat a nuclear Iran would have on countries outside of the Middle East.

“The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is a matter of the gravest concern and utmost urgency - not just to Israel, but to the United States, Canada and the entire world,” said William Daroff, Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America.

The Conference of Presidents lauded the IAEA for releasing the report, saying it had stated officially what had become impossible to deny. Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, of the Conference of Presidents, said the report demands immediate response by the U.S. and the international community.

"A country that has threatened to wipe neighboring states off the face of the earth must not possess the means to do so," they warned.

"The international community must act with increased resolve to prevent Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, from acquiring nuclear weapons, which are increasingly within Iran’s reach," said Stone and Hoenlein.