The Obama Administration has found some unusual allies in its fight against the Menendez-Kirk Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013.The bill, which seeks “To expand sanctions imposed with respect to Iran and to impose additional sanctions with respect to Iran,” is rumored to have garnered the support of 60+ Senators, which may ultimately force the hand of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid to bring the bill to a vote.
The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill should it pass the Senate. With Congress reconvening this week, the Iran sanctions bill is at the forefront of Washington’s agenda items.
A recent poll showed overwhelming bipartisan support for additional sanctions against Iran, with 77% of Democrats and 96% of Republicans in support.
PressTV, Iran’s English-language state-run media outlet, has come out against the bill. PressTV has chalked up responsibility for the overwhelming majority of support in the Senate to the “mouthpieces of the Israeli lobby” in the US Senate.
The National Iranian American Council, an Iranian-American lobbying group that has been accused of having close connections with the Ayatollah’s regime, has come out against the sanctions legislation, claiming, “A handful of hawkish legislators are on the cusp of destroying the last remaining pathway to peace.” Trita Parsi, the director of NIAC, asserts that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani beat the “hard-liner” in the most recent elections; therefore, the peace process is a delicate one and passing new sanctions will ultimately destroy the progress that was made between the US and Iran through the recent P5+1 negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Skeptics of the regime’s “moderation” may cite the fact that 98% of Iran’s registered candidates were kicked off of the ballot in Iran’s most recent election. Furthermore, Iran has ramped up its executions to a record pace following Rouhani’s recent victory at the polls. Those frequently subjugated to capital punishment include any deemed “enemies” of the Islamic Republic, including political dissidents, human rights activists, homosexuals, and religious minorities, among others.
The United States’ chief diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, said in opposition to pressure for new sanctions, “We’ve said it a hundred times and you all have said it a hundred times and they know you’re yearning to go do it but you don’t need to do it. It is actually gratuitous in the context of this situation because you can do it in a week if you need to when we say, ‘this ain’t working, we need your help,’ and believe me we’ll be prepared to do that.”
The anti-Israel crowd has come out in full support of the administration’s position on the bill: no new sanctions.
The American Conservative, an editorial magazine founded by Pat Buchanan, has taken a similar approach, rejecting the bipartisan measure as one conjured up by “AIPAC and its minions”, while supporting the President’s approach to diplomacy with Iran. Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro recently documented the troublesome anti-Semitic rhetoric that frequents the pages of The American Conservative.
Antiwar.com, An online newspaper that hosts the likes of leftist Noam Chomsky, has also engaged in promulgating the conspiracy theory that AIPAC controls the puppet strings of congress. The assertion is made that but for AIPAC’s influence, Iran would not even be an issue at hand worthy of deliberation.
What many may find confusing is that AIPAC is not even the largest pro-Israel lobby yet always comes under fire as the organization singled out as the “Israel” or “Jewish” lobby. In fact, Christians United For Israel is America’s largest. Why AIPAC’s critics almost always leave the non-Jewish Israel-supporting CUFI out of the mix when reprimanding the “lobby” remains unclear.