With the latest rumors on terms of the final Iran nuclear deal spawning a new round of condemnations from the Israel Lobby, Congressional hawks are predictably stepping up their own criticisms of the negotiations with Iran, threatening to kill the deal if it steps over any “red lines.”
Last night, the Associated Press reported the details of a portion of the draft nuclear deal, which reportedly included pledges for Western nations to provide light-water nuclear reactors and fuel to Iran in return for them abandoning the design for the Arak heavy-water facility.
Arak was to be the replacement for the US-built Tehran Research Reactor, a light-water reactor which was created in 1967. The aging reactor is presently Iran’s lone source of medical isotopes, and at its advanced age is long overdue dfor replacement.
The reports fueled new complaints from Israel that the Iran deal is offering too many “concessions” to Iran, and lobbying factions like AIPAC dutifully stepped up calls for Congress to kill the deal, something they could theoretically do if they can muster a veto-proof majority.
The Congressional hawks are now laying down new “red lines” on the deal, which uncoincidentally are the exact opposite of what Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sought in comments earlier this week. He wanted sanction easing and limited access to conventional military sites, so Congressmen, naturally, are now demanding to stall sanction easing, and insisting on unconditional access to all conventional military sites.
Republican hawks like Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) are laying out their strategy for killing the deal right now, which requires getting some Congressional Democrats on board. He suggested they will go after Congressmen from “heavily pro-Israel communities,” which means they plan to rely heavily on AIPAC and others to kill this pact.