Senators Push Resolution Committing US to Aid Israel in Attack on Iran

If Israel attacks Iran in 'self-defense,' the resolution declares, the US must provide diplomatic, military, and economic support

by John Glaser, February 28, 2013

A bipartisan group of US senators is pushing a resolution declaring that if Israel attacks Iran “in self-defense,” the United States will join in the military assault on Israel’s behalf.

The chief sponsors of the resolution are Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Graham said the resolution will be non-binding and is neither a declaration of war nor an authorization to use military force. Non-binding resolutions are supposed to express the sentiment of Congress, as opposed to actually legislate policy. This one seems tied to placating the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual conference in DC this weekend.

Leaving aside the fact that under no reasonable definition of “self-defense” could Israel conceivably justify an attack on Iran, the resolution is both an illustration of Congress’s fealty to Israel, as well as their aggressiveness towards Iran.

The consensus in the US intelligence community, as articulated repeatedly by officials in the highest echelons of the US government for years now, is that Iran has no active nuclear weapons program and has not made the decision to go for nuclear weapons. Iran has done nothing to threaten, rhetorically or militarily, the United States, despite the fact that Washington has had Iran militarily surrounded for the past decade.

If Iran had passed a resolution or ruling anywhere close to how threatening the Menendez-Graham measure is, there would be hysterical uproar in Washington over how reckless and belligerent the Islamic Republic is.

“This could have several negative implications,” Alireza Nader of the RAND Corporation told Ali Gharib at The Daily Beast. “First, it could be interpreted as endorsing an Israeli preventive strike against Iran, which runs counter to US strategy. The US intelligence community judges that Iran has not made the political decision to create nuclear weapons. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability is not imminent, hence an Israeli military strike against Iran at this moment is not necessary or justified.”

The resolution “could also send the message, not only to Iran, but also the wider international community, including major powers like China and Russia, that the United States is not serious about solving the nuclear issue peacefully,” Nader also told The Daily Beast.

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