Right Web

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

UANI, Samore Go Their Separate Ways

The stridently anti-deal United Against Nuclear Iran and its president Gary Samore have parted ways after Samore came out in favor of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Print Friendly

LobeLog

It seems that the stridently anti-deal United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and its president until today, Gary Samore—who has spoken in favor of the Iranian nuclear deal—have sealed an amicable agreement to divorce, effective immediate.

In a press release issued late Monday, UANI’s long-standing CEO, Amb. Mark Wallace, announced that Samore, a former top Obama non-proliferation adviser now at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, is being replaced by (drumroll…) former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a man whose consistently hawkish views on Iran, are far more in tune with UANI’s militancy. This is what Laura Rozen appropriately called “regime change.”

As we at LobeLog have long noted, Samore’s interest in diplomacy, and his more recent support for the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA), raised serious questions as to why he served as president of an organization that was resolutely opposed to any accord that would permit Tehran to retain any part of its nuclear program. Aside from UANI’s own internal structure—Wallace and other staff members were paid based on their positions in mining companies owned by the organization’s biggest 2013 donor, Thomas Kaplan—the fact that its second biggest donor was Sheldon Adelson should have scared Samore away in the first place. Adelson, of course, famously suggested that the best way to deal with Iran’s nuclear program was to detonate a nuclear bomb in an Iranian desert and then threaten to drop another “in the middle of Tehran” unless it dismantles its nuclear infrastructure.

What is particularly intriguing is the timing of the change, which probably should have taken place when Samore began making clear his support for the administration’s efforts to conclude a deal last spring. Of course, the battle over the deal is now much more intense—probably more so than any other foreign policy fight since the Iraq war—and many millions of dollars are being spent to try to kill it in Congress. But I suspect that the anti-deal forces, which are now clearly led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are determined to centralize control over the campaign. As I wrote back in April, AIPAC was clearly very unhappy with Samore’s public positions, and his replacement by Lieberman suggests that AIPAC probably exerted considerable pressure on UANI to implement the coup.

The former senator is the most prominent and outspoken member of the small “advisory board” of the new, AIPAC-created group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran (CNFI)—to which $20-$40 million dollars have reportedly been committed—which is continuously running factually challenged ads on network and cable news shows. CNFI’s director, Patrick Dorton, used to work for AIPAC, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Lieberman also serves as co-chair with former Republican Sen. John Kyl of the “American Internationalism Project” at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an organization that not only promoted, but also provided key architects of the Iraq War. In addition he is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies with which readers of this blog are already well acquainted. And let’s not forget that Lieberman also served as co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI) the neo-conservative group established by the Bush administration for the express purpose of mobilizing support for the Iraq war. (For those who are noting the overlap between Iraq war promoters and Iran deal saboteurs, Lieberman is your man.)

Senator Lieberman’s foreign policy and national security expertise is highly respected and renowned around the world,” Wallace said in the release about his new president. “We could have no better leader as the American people consider this flawed Iran agreement.

Wallace praised Samore, describing him as “one of the premier experts sceptical of Iran’s willingness to forgo a nuclear weapons capability… While concerned with many provisions of the Iran deal, Gary ultimately supports the agreement and is stepping down to avoid any conflict with UANI’s work in opposition to the agreement.”

Samore reciprocated, insisting that “[i]n these partisan times, UANI has been a bipartisan and thoughtful voice on these issues. If the nuclear agreement goes forward – as I believe it should – UANI will continue to play a critical role monitoring implementation and help to maintain non-nuclear sanctions until Iran changes its behavior in these other areas.”

To its credit, UANI permitted Samore, who will remain on the group’s Advisory Board, to have his say.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


Print Friendly

A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


Print Friendly

The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


Print Friendly

Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


Print Friendly

The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


Print Friendly

Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


Print Friendly

Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


RightWeb
share