While talks continue between the P5+1 countries and Iran, there have been determined efforts to try and disrupt the talks and thus increase the threat of war, and the main vehicle for doing has been to push for more sanctions against Iran while talks are going on.. This push has been strongly supported by Israel’s main lobbying group in the US known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. The new sanctions have been vigorously opposed by the Obama administration, which is seeking to make improved relations with Iran the centerpiece of its second term foreign policy.
But the new sanctions effort seems to be losing steam. As Philip Weiss writes, there has been some surprising pushback against this effort and some members of Congress and media are slowly backing away from it. Juan Cole also elaborates on the pushback lawmakers are receiving.
Opponents of this effort have been making the case the country is in no mood for any more wars and if new sanctions torpedo the current talks and result in a war with Iran, those who are supporting it (such as Democratic senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand) will rue the day later, just like Hillary Clinton was seriously damaged in 2008 by her pro-war stand on Iraq. That argument seems to be having some effect, because lately AIPAC has ratcheted down its public lobbying efforts for the sanctions, perhaps sensing that it is unpopular with the public and they don’t want to be saddled with the blame for talks collapsing, and this has eased the pressure on lawmakers.
The Daily Show has an excellent take on this.
(This clip aired on January 15, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)