New Iran Bill Sets Stage for Obama-Senate Battle

Bill Endorses Any Future Israeli Attack on Iran

Setting the stage for the protracted recess battle for votes, 26 co-sponsors introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (pdf) today, aimed at derailing the ongoing diplomacy with Iran by imposing new sanctions in violation of the interim P5+1 deal.

The bill makes as statements of fact several outright false claims, including the idea that Iran could have enough “weapons-grade uranium for a bomb in one to 2 months’ time,” despite Iran never attempting to produce any uranium above 20 percent enrichment.

It goes on to demand any diplomatic deal with Iran require the whole of their civilian nuclear program be dismantled, and endorses any Israeli attacks on Iran, pledging US government support for any war Israel starts with Iran.

10 Senate committee chairs have come out against the bill, issuing an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) urging “consultations” before it is brought for a vote, and noting that it would derail negotiations.

Which seems to be very much the point for its hawkish advocates, and author Sen. Mark Kirk (R – IL) presented it as a move against “Iranian deception,” by which he means diplomacy in general.

President Obama has promised a veto of the bill, and with a veto likely to come no sooner than January, the holiday recess is sure to be filled with heavy lobbying to see if the hawks can get a veto-proof majority. With the Israeli lobbying factions coming out strongly for the pact, it’s going to be a major battle.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.