In Letters to Congressmen, Obama Pledges More Money for Israel, Talks Up Attacking Iran

Unilateral US Attack 'Remains Available' Through Life of Deal

Though it seems clear that the hawks will not have enough votes to block the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama’s attempts to sell the pact to undecided members of Congress is picking up pace, with reports of a new round of letters to Congressmen promising various measures.

The centerpiece of the letter is to assure to the various Congressmen that the possibility of the US attacking Iran unilaterally remains open with or without the deal, assuring that the military option “will remain available” through the life of the pact and beyond.

Beyond this, the president promised significant increases in military aid to Israel if the deal goes through, saying he considers Israeli security “sacrosanct” and wants to accelerate funding for various programs that are part of Israel’s military aid.

Though the Israel Lobby is putting many millions of dollars behind the campaign to lobby Congress against the Iran deal, the chances of getting a veto-proof majority to block the pact are rapidly drying up. Despite this, the administration seems to continue to believe that threatening Iran with military action after making a diplomatic deal with them somehow raises their credibility in the negotiations, or at the very least will be sufficient to placate the opponents of diplomacy. Since many of those opponents will accept nothing short of an actual war, dangling the possibility of one at them seems more likely to just keep them riled up.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.