AIPAC flexes its muscle on Iran and Egypt

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PostSun Aug 04, 2013 3:06 pm » by Tjahzi


The powerhouse Israel lobby group wants more sanctions on Iran and the continuation of U.S. military aid towards Egypt--and Congress has obliged. Over the past week, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has seen its legislative priorities on U.S. policy in the Middle East sail through Congress.

As Iran prepared to welcome in a new president more amenable to negotiations with the West over its nuclear energy program, AIPAC and its Congressional allies were walking overtime to scuttle any potential diplomatic progress. The House of Representatives passed a new bill yesterday aimed at crippling Iran's oil exports. There were a handful of Congressional critics of the AIPAC-backed measure, who pointed out that the bill was, as M.J. Rosenberg put it, a "preemptive strike" against Iran's new president. But they didn't come close to dissuading the House, which passed the bill by a 400-20 vote.

The House vote lined up with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's strategy: ratchet up sanctions, prepare for war and deride those who think that Hassan Rouhani, the new Iranian president, presents a diplomatic opportunity. "You should ratchet up the sanction and make it clear to Iran that they won't get away with it. And if sanctions don't work and they have to know that you'll be prepared to take military action, that's the only thing that will get their attention," Netanyahu said on CBS' Face the Nation last month.


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