AIPAC is still worried that there might be a breakthrough in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Accordingly, its staff drafted a letter to President Obama that will be circulated by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Its goal is to have the entire Senate endorse the hardest possible line to kill the next round of negotiations which is slated to convene in Moscow next week.
The letter demands the following as “the absolute minimum steps” which Iran “must take immediately.”
1. Shutting down the Fordow facility
2. Freezing enrichment above 5%
3.Shipping all uranium enriched above 5% out of the country.
In return the AIPAC/Senate letter tells the President to offer NOTHING except the continuation of negotiations. In other words, AIPAC proposes a negotiating framework under which Iran makes tangible concessions in return for our agreeing to… more negotiations. Any easing of sanctions is specifically ruled out.
The final paragraph of the letter indicates its real purpose: to shut down negotiations in favor of getting ready for military action. It reads:
If the sessions in Moscow produce no substantive agreement, we urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists. As you have rightly noted, ‘the window for diplomacy is closing. Iran’s leaders must realize that you mean precisely that.
The letter is pure AIPAC/Netanyahu. One, it offers the other party nothing except (2) negotiations themselves which are viewed as a concession to the other side. The offer is designed to be rejected. Why would Iran give up something for nothing?
The letter is also an AIPAC device for scoring senators in an election year. Those who sign will be rewarded or left alone. Those who don’t will hear from AIPAC and its friends. Not a pretty possibility.
This is foreign policy making at its worst, not policy at all but pure special interest politics designed by a lobby to advance Binyamin Netanyahu’s interests and agenda. Ugly stuff. But not surprising.