Tag Archives: #IranTalks

House Rejects Iran Deal in Symbolic Vote

Also Plans to Vote to Forbid Obama Implementing Pact

by Jason Ditz

The House of Representatives has voted today on the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, rejecting the bill 162-249. The vote has no practical impact, as the Senate failed in a cloture vote yesterday, and subsequently will not be passing a resolution on the pact before the deadline.

The 60-day deadline for Congressional review of the deal expires on Thursday, and the House vote is yet another failure, since they failed again to get a veto-proof majority needed to override a promised presidential veto.

The House is also planning to pass another resolution which will forbid the president from lifting any sanctions on Iran until after the 2017 inauguration. This would effectively prevent the US from abiding by the Iran deal, though there has been no indication the Senate will address this attempt, and again it probably won’t get a veto-proof majority.

Beyond that, House Republicans are also talking about filing a lawsuit trying to get the court to forbid the US from complying with the Iran deal on the grounds that the White House never provided them with copies of confidential IAEA deals with Iran. This too seems a long-shot, but reflects the Congressional leaders’ determination, after losing the battle on blocking the deal, to keep trying to undermine it.

White House Backs Down as Hawks Praise Netanyahu Speech

Declares Iran an Eternal Enemy of US

by Jason Ditz, March 03, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today gave a speech to Congress that was remarkably similar to yesterday’s speech at AIPAC, complete with the attempts to liken Iran to Nazi Germany, and the demands to abandon the ongoing nuclear talks in favor of forcing Iran into a “better deal” through unspecified means.

Netanyahu declared that Iran is “busy gobbling up nations,” and has its eyes on subjugating the whole world. It should be noted, of course, Iran has exactly three allied nation-states, and the only recent one is neighboring Iraq, which has become close to Iran since the US installed a Shi’ite government there in the 2003 invasion/occupation.

While railing against Iran’s “march of conquest,” Netanyahu declared the nation “will always be an enemy of America,” and that the ongoing nuclear talks would ensure Iran would have nuclear arms.

Netanyahu went on with a falsehood-laden speech by claiming Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted, in English, for Israel to be “annihilated.” A quick survey of Khamenei’s tweets reveal, by contrast, that his tweets on Israel included: calling on all Christians, Jews, and Muslims to unite in criticizing Israeli war crimes, quoting Nelson Mandela calling for Palestinian self-determination, and in a direct response to the question of how to “eliminate” Israel, calling for a referendum among all people of all religions living there to form a new government, while explicitly saying Iran opposes military action against Israel.

While the speech was boycotted by a number of Congressional Democrats (58 by most counts), there was little White House response to the speech itself, while hawks all cheered Netanyahu’s statesmanship.

The administration seemed to be betting that saying Obama didn’t intend to even watch Netanyahu’s speech would be sufficient, and having done that seems content to once again let an Israeli leader dictate US policy without serious response.

Rift Widens as Netanyahu Arrives in US for Speech

Planned Speech a Top Political Issue in Both US and Israel

by Jason Ditz, March 01, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in the United States today, just days ahead of his planned speech to the US Congress aimed at convincing them to end nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Netanyahu’s visit, over the objection of the Obama Administration, has fueled political tensions in both the US and Israel, with bilateral relations a key political issue in a way not seen in decades.

Dozens of Congressional Democrats are planning to boycott the speech, and administration officials have said they won’t meet Netanyahu this close to the Israeli election, scheduled for March 17.

In Israel, the opposition is also blasting Netanyahu for risking US ties over Iran diplomacy, and the Israeli election commission is only allowing the speech to be broadcast in Israel on a tape delay, to allow TV stations to filter out any political content the premier may make.

In the past, Israeli leaders going to DC were trying to hype their tremendous level of influence and the strong ties they enjoy with all top officials. Netanyahu, by contrast, will be underscoring the level of influence he’s already lost, while hawkish Republicans embrace him primarily as a way to thumb their nose at the administration.