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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Armchair warmongers challenging the Iran deal

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Elliott Abrams

Elliot Abrams has called for “reversing” the Iran deal and wildly accused President Obama of resorting to anti-Semitism in his criticisms of the deal’s opponents. "The president … must know that he is here feeding a deep line of anti-Semitism that accuses American Jews of getting America into wars," Abrams proclaimed in a recent op-ed.

Henry Sokolski

Sokolski, a former aide to Paul Wolfowitz, is the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and a member of the board of advisors of the controversial activist group United Against Nuclear Iran. Along with the controversial analyst David Albright, Sokolski is one of a very small handful of arms control “experts” who have heaped criticism on the Iran deal.

Eric Edelman

Eric Edelman, a former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and longtime opponent of the Iran nuclear negotiations, argued at a recent Senate hearing that Congress should consider “coupling its disapproval of the deal with authorization for the use of force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”

Joe Lieberman

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), an outspoken opponent of the Iran deal, recently became chairman of the controversial United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and joined the advisory board of the AIPAC-backed Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran. He has urged members of Congress to revoke the agreement, declaring: "I can't think of a vote that I cast, apart from the ones deploying American troops into combat, that was as important as this agreement is to the future security of the United States.” Quipped one observer: “For those who are noting the overlap between Iraq war promoters and Iran deal saboteurs, Lieberman is your man."

Bret Stephens

Bret Stephens, a neoconservative Wall Street Journal columnist and supporter of the Iraq War, has bizarrely stated that voting for the Iran deal would be like having voted “for the Iraq War” and would similarly come back to “haunt” members of Congress. The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald said of Stephens' remarks: "First, note the bizarre equation of support for the war in Iraq with support for a peace deal with Iran. Second, since when do neocons like Stephens talk about the Iraq War as something shameful, as a 'stain' on one's legacy?”

Ray Takeyh

Iran-hawk Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues in a recent op-ed that Congress should reject the Iran deal and misleadingly suggests the United States could still push for a “more stringent” deal with Iran. “No agreement is perfect, but at times the scale of imperfection is so great that the judicious course is to reject the deal and renegotiate a more stringent one,” wrote Takeyh.

American Security Initiative

The American Security Initiative is an anti-Iran deal advocacy organization spearheaded by hawkish former Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Norm Coleman (R-MN). Renowned for its alarmist ads about Iran’s nuclear program, the group recently announced a $6.5 million ad campaign that the New York Times has said is “aimed at derailing President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.” Commentators have noted that AIC “clearly swing Democrats in mind” in regards to constituencies its ads are targeting.

David Albright

David Albright’s criticisms of the Iran nuclear deal have placed him amongst a diminishingly small group of arms control “experts” who oppose or seek to change the agreement. Underscoring Albright’s isolation, Mark Wallace of the controversial activist group United Against a Nuclear Iran was hard-pressed during a recent interview to identify many anti-deal figures in the arms control community, stating: “David Albright, even though he’s not affiliated with us, has been very useful.”

Letters from Right Web readers

My comment is very short:

1. Republicans are envious of President Obama's diplomatic skills and do not know how to react to his successes. So they have smeared him, behaving like naughty children towards their parents.

2. Not one Republican has any idea how to settle any domestic or international problems, without showing off with the war alternative—getting rich on the weapons industry.

3. Hopefully, Mr. Trump will be the GOP Presidential candidate because that would be the end of this treacherous, frightening, so-called Party.

Ulrike Siddiqi

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Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.

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