AIPAC, the leading American pro-Israel lobby, has launched Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, as part of its efforts to get Congress to block the bad nuclear deal with Iran.
AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the pro-Israel organization which lobbies for Israel in Congress, has launched a new advocacy group to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.
Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, a new non-profit organization, is dedicated to informing the public “about the dangers of the proposed Iran deal,” spokesman Patrick Dorton told the New York Times.
The group’s advisory board includes five former Democratic members of Congress: Senators Evan Bayh , Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu and Joseph Lieberman.
Former Congresswomen Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), who served on the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, will also advise the group.
“This Iran deal is dangerous for America, for Israel and for the world,” Lieberman, the former Democratic and Independent senator, said in a statement on the group’s site. “Iran has violated over 20 international agreements, is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, and has been working to acquire nuclear weapons for years. Unfortunately this agreement won’t stop them.”
AIPAC has already come out in opposition to a number of President Barack Obama’s policies, including his approach to negotiations with Iran and treatment of Israel.
In a staff meeting earlier this week the group’s executive director, Howard Kohr, told staff to cancel their summer vacations as the group plans to ramp up its lobbying against the deal in coming weeks, Politico reported.
According to the Times, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran will spend approximately $20 million in advocacy, including advertising in 30 to 40 states.
“This will be a sizable and significant national campaign on the flaws in the Iran deal,” Dorton said.
AIPAC Calls on Congress to Get A Better Deal
After the agreement was signed between the P5+1 Powers and the Islamic Republic, it will be sent to Congress for 60 days of review and scrutiny.
House and Senate leaders have already signaled that they think Obama made too many concessions and that they intend to fight it on the Floor.
AIPAC will lobby among Congress members to garner opposition for the deal.
While Dorton said the lobbying effort would target members of both parties, Democrats would be a focal point. “Democrats should be especially concerned, because the deal increases the chances of war, will spur a nuclear arms race and rewards an Iran with a horrific human rights record.”
In a statement released after the signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran, AIPAC said it has “consistently supported diplomatic efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” but “this proposed agreement fails to halt Iran’s nuclear quest. Instead, it would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.”
After outlining what would consist of a “good deal” and why the one achieved is not, AIPAC states that the agreement not only “fails to achieve its objectives in the nuclear arena, but it releases Tehran in a matter of years—regardless of Iranian behavior—from ballistic missile sanctions and an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council.”
This accord threatens the future of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, AIPAC warned. “By leaving Iran on the threshold of a nuclear weapon—despite its history of violating international obligations—other countries in the region will have a dangerous incentive to initiate their own nuclear programs. The resulting nuclear arms race would severely destabilize the region.”
The agreement will further embolden Iran and may encourage regional conflict, AIPAC stated
“We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon. Congress should insist on a better deal,” the statement concludes.