News Release

Senators “Opening a Backdoor to War with Iran”?


The Daily Beast reports in “Senators Press Resolution To Green-Light Israeli Attack On Iran,” that a resolution “by Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Robert Menendez (NJ), a Republican and Democrat, respectively, declares U.S. support for an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution, which expresses the sense of the Congress, will be supported by the thousands of delegates to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee annual conference that will stream through the Capitol this weekend. With prominent liberal Democrats already signing on, AIPAC’s lobbying heft will likely propel a bill that, in Congressional sentiment at least, commits the U.S. to active support of a potential Israeli attack that experts think could have consequences as grave as further destabilization in the region, adverse global economic consequences, and even a hardening of Iranian resolve to get a weapon. …

“The resolution, while affirming increasingly harsh sanctions, also ‘urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.’ Tempering some fears about the bill, the authors added that the resolution shouldn’t ‘be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war’ by the U.S. Though the caveat will surely placate some members of Congress, it seems potentially at odds with a pledge of ‘military … support’ in the event of an attack — language that, though unlikely for now, if actuated into policy could suggest the U.S. would be dragged into a war based on an Israeli decision to strike.”

JAMAL ABDI, [email]
Policy director at the National Iranian American Council, Abdi reports that the resolution has just been introduced. He said today: “These Senators are now on the record that they want U.S. to go to war on behalf of Israel if Netanyahu says it’s go time. Ceding the decision of whether to go to war to a foreign leader is the height of irresponsibility from this Congress. But they know the President, the military, and the American public would not stand for another disastrous war of choice, so instead they are trying to open a backdoor to war with Iran. … It’s a backdoor because instead of a public debate about committing U.S. troops and money to military action decided by Congress or the President, they are handing off the decision to Netanyahu and writing him a blank check.”