A group of 12 Democratic Senators are the subject of a new full-page ad in the New York Times from pro-Israel groups pushing them to back new sanctions on Iran, increasing the pressure on them to fellow Democratic President Barack Obama.
“Last year, these Democratic Senators courageously supported sanctions on Iran,” the ad says, referencing their cosponsorship of a sanctions bill, “We urge them to continue to stand firm and put principle before politics.”
The ad includes a line-up of photographs of the senators, which include Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The Zionist Organization of America, StandWithUs, This World: The Values Network and “America’s Rabbbi” Rabbi Shmuley organized and paid for the ad.
In an interview, Shmuley said advocates for a new sanctions bill need to all the political pressure they can muster in the face of Obama’s vehement opposition to new sanctions, which he said will imperil negotiations with the Iranian regime.
Shmuley said previous sanctions are what forced Iran to the table in the first place, and ripped human rights abuses by the Iranians.
“This is a regime that brutalizes the innocent men, women and children of Iran. My father is Iranian, so this is very close to my heart. This is a vile, putrid, foul regime which is an abomination against human rights. It is not for the United States to give this regime more money so they can use that money to prop themselves up or continue to fund terrorism,” Shmuley said.
Tension between Obama and pro-Israel Democrats has been increasing over the issue, with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) saying the president’s rhetoric sounds “like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”