AIPAC urges new Iran sanctions Politico.com
The most powerful pro-Israel advocacy group in the U.S., the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is bucking the Obama administration by urging Congress to press forward with legislation that could impose new nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.
In the wake of Iran's agreement over the weekend to a six-month deal that would place strictures on that country's nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions, top aides to President Barack Obama urged Congress to hold off any action on new sanctions that they say could upset the pact.
But a policy memo issued by AIPAC Monday (and posted here) encourages U.S. lawmakers to keep up the pressure on Tehran.
"Congress must...legislate additional sanctions, so that Iran will face immediate consequences should it renege on its commitments or refuse to negotiate an acceptable final agreement," the AIPAC statement says. "Congress, working with the administration, must strictly oversee the initial agreement and ensure Iranian compliance. In the event Iran violates the agreement, the administration must revoke all sanctions relief."
While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has bitterly denounced the agreement as "the deal of the century" for Iran, the AIPAC memo puts some daylight between the group and the Israeli leader by delivering a more nuanced and mixed verdict on the pact reached between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries—the U.S., France, China, Russia, Great Britain and Germany.
"If fully implemented, the agreement will cap parts of Iran’s nuclear program and provide inspectors greater access to nuclear sites," AIPAC acknowledges, pointing in particular to Iran's commitment to allow daily inspections of key locations in their nuclear program. "But it will allow Iran to continue its nuclear program — in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions — while gaining some sanctions relief."
A White House spokeswoman had no comment Monday on AIPAC's statement.