Sunday, January 26

AIPAC’s open revolt against White House: Report

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s attack against the Florida congresswoman over Iran sanctions legislation shows its “open revolt against the White House's Iran diplomacy,” a report says.
In a letter, the AIPAC strongly lashed out at Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is known as a staunch Israel supporter, for being silent over the legislation, Foreign Policy’s The Cable reported.
According to the report, the harsh criticism that one of Congress’s most pro-Israel lawmakers is not pro-Israel enough for the lobbying group “raised eyebrows among some current and former AIPAC officials.”
AIPAC’s former chief lobbyist Doug Bloomfield said that after 40 years working with the group, the campaign against the congresswoman is “the first time [he's] seen such a blatant departure from bipartisanship.”
“Debbie cannot poke a stick in the eye of the president,” Bloomfield said. “She’s the head of the DNC for God’s sake.”
Wasserman Schultz refuses to declare her position on the bill introduced by Senators Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez last month.
The AIPAC is working hard to build support for the Senate bill that is set to impose fresh sanction on Iran if nuclear talks break down.
The White House says President Barack Obama would veto the legislation if it is passed, adding that Tehran will walk away from the negotiations. However, 59 senators have already signed on in support.
Meanwhile, AIPAC's campaign in South Florida slammed the group’s stance.
"AIPAC has really over-reached on this one and alienated key allies on the Hill over what really boils down to a small tactical difference over sanctions timing," said a congressional aide. "It's hard to come to any other conclusion that they aren't deliberately flaming the partisan flames for their own political benefit." 
Under intense pressure from hawkish American lawmakers, Secretary of State John Kerry threatened Iran with military action if Tehran does not live up to its commitments under a nuclear agreement reached in Geneva last November.

“Now yes, okay, if they [Iranians] broke out and decided they're going to throw this agreement away and go start enrichment again, sure they can turn around. But guess what? If they do that, then the military option that is available to the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do," Kerry said in Switzerland on Thursday.
In response, Iranian commander Brigadier General Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri said the United States knows the military option is not practical.
The general added that all American interests in the Middle East would be completely destroyed in the event of an attack against Iran.

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