Right Web

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

Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran!

A recent letter to members of Congress from 37 organizations urges support for the White House’s efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

Print Friendly


The November 24 deadline for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is quickly approaching. If negotiators can reach a deal next month, it will almost certainly provide unprecedented access for inspectors to Iran’s nuclear sites and reduce to a near-zero possibility that Iran could acquire a nuclear weapon. But perhaps most importantly, it will show that US strategic interests in the Middle East can be pursued and secured without the use of military force, an important new precedent to set after over a decade of costly conflict.

If there is a deal on Nov. 24, the White House indicated, in an article authored by David E. Sanger in Sunday’s New York Times, that it would not seek an immediate vote on the agreement or sanctions relief, instead asserting that the administration can, and may need to, roll back some sanctions unilaterally as part of immediate sanctions relief guarantees in a possible agreement.

Hawks in Congress may want to portray their position as representing the mainstream consensus but a letter signed by thirty-seven organizations and sent to members of Congress on Thursday offers some indication that many foreign policy groups in the beltway are concerned by Congress’ latest effort to meddle in the final weeks of sensitive diplomacy before the November deadline.

The signatories—which include the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; J Street; MoveOn.org; the National Iranian American Council; Progressive Democrats of America; the United Methodist Church and VoteVets— expressed “deep concern with inaccurate and counterproductive rhetoric from a handful of Members of Congress regarding possible outcomes of the current negotiations.”

They continue:

Particularly irresponsible are threats to oppose any comprehensive agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program that initially suspends US sanctions on Iran through lawful executive action. Congress’ authorization of the President’s power to suspend and re-impose US sanctions on Iran is clear and unmistakable in each piece of legislation it has passed on the subject. Use of these provisions by the President to implement the initial phase of an agreement that ensures Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon would reflect an affirmation, not a subversion, of Congress’ will.

The echo chamber on Capitol Hill may give members of the House and Senate the impression that only the threat of military action or crushing sanctions are effective tools in bringing Iran to the negotiating table. (My colleague Ali Gharib and I discussed the disproportionate voice given to individuals from neoconservative organizations at congressional hearings on Iran in a July article in The Nation.)

But the letter sent out on Thursday might give some congressional Democrats pause. Congress may lean hawkish but progressive groups in the beltway are throwing their weight behind the White House’s efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and are urging Congress to stay out of the way.

This article was first published by The Nation on Oct. 24 and was reprinted here with permission. Copyright The Nation.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

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.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

Print Friendly

North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

Print Friendly

Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

Print Friendly

Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

Print Friendly

Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

Print Friendly

Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

Print Friendly

It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.