I bet you thought I was going to say the Jooooooish Lobby. That’s the popular meme being hinted at by President Obama. But despite what anti-Semites may believe, there is no Jewish Lobby (unless you mean the lobby in my Synagogue which was just re-painted for the High Holidays). Actually, most cases see American Jews support the Democratic Party position, no matter what it is. Nope – there is a different lobby trying to control the P5+1 Iran vote, and they have a ton of politicians in their pockets.
An unanswered question about the P5+1 agreement is: since the majority of Americans don’t want the deal approved, and the more Americans learn about the deal the more they dislike it, why are congressional Democrats throwing their support behind a dangerous agreement the voters don’t like? It can’t all be because they are trying to give a lame duck president a legacy. Daniel Greenfield, writing for Front Page Magazine, may have come up with part of the answer — Iranian money, campaign donations.
Many of the people who have announced their support for the deal are getting money from the Iran lobby:
Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.
After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.
As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues.
Greenfield also points out that IPAC gave some money to Arizona Republican Jeff Flake hoping that he would vote for the deal, and tried to flip NY’s Chuck Schumer, but both those efforts were in vain.
The other NY Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, not only received IPAC money, but also picked up money from Hassan Nemazee: IAPAC trustee , multimillionaire Iranian-American investment banker, and convicted felon.
(…) Nemazee had donated to Gillibrand and had also kicked in money to help the Franken Recount Fund scour all the cemeteries for freshly dead votes, as well as to Barbara Boxer, who also came out for the Iran nuke deal. Boxer had also received money more directly from IAPAC.
Getting IPAC cash in the house side were Mike Honda, Andre Carson, Gerry Connolly, Donna Edwards and Jackie Speier all of whom support the Obama P5+1 turkey:
But the Iran Lobby’s biggest wins weren’t Markey or Shaheen. The real victory had come long before when two of their biggest politicians, Joe Biden and John Kerry, had moved into prime positions in the administration. Not only IAPAC, but key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both men.
That list includes Housang Amirahmadi, the founder of the American Iranian Council, who had spoken of a campaign to “conquer Obama’s heart and mind” and had described himself as “the Iranian lobby in the United States.” It includes the Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN) board members who had fundraised for Biden. And it includes the aforementioned Hassan Nemazee.
Hassan Nemazee was also the vice chair of Kerry’s failed 2004 campaign for president.
Another part of the lobby pushing the deal is The Ploughshares Fund, which is not pushing the deal directly; it’s financing many of the other groups pushing congress to vote yes. Michael Rubin exposed the Ploughshares money in a Tuesday Commentary piece.
The Ploughshares Fund is “a multimillion-dollar group which defines itself as a foundation seeking nuclear disarmament but which has, for several years, taken a consistently apologetic line toward Iran,” has been throwing its weight behind influential organizations such as the National Iranian American Council, the Arms Control Association, and the Atlantic Council, among others, in an attempt to garner support for the deal, Rubin reported. Ploughshares gave $150,000 to the National Iranian American Council for “advocacy” about the Iran Deal, $210,000 to the Arms Control Association to “influence US policy toward Iran,” and another $25,000 to fund an “expert workshop” and press briefings, according to Rubin.
Per its annual report, Ploughshares also gives money to the anti-Israel group, J Street ($100,000):
In short, Ploughshares spread millions of dollars around to pro-administration groups to support whatever Iran Deal came out of Vienna. To criticize the Iran Deal would be to risk a significant source of funding—double digits percentages of their total budget in most cases—of these various groups…
Organizations receiving funding from Ploughshares rarely acknowledge their being lobbied. They produce biased analysis and host one-sided panel discussions in order to advance the agenda they are being paid to move forward.
“Seldom did these groups acknowledge the support provided by Ploughshares,” Rubin reported. “Hence, various organizations hosted one-sided panels in the wake of the Iran Deal announcement with multiple Ploughshares grantees without acknowledging their funding from the Ploughshares grantees.”
Rubin said the Obama administration is putting misplaced blame of lobbying on critics of the Deal. “When Obama warns of dark money and nefarious lobbies, it seems increasingly he is projecting,” Rubin wrote.
The pro-Iranian lobbyists either through campaign cash, or directly in support of the deal are a huge force in trying to give Obama his short-term legacy. Long-term, that legacy may very well be the ultimate war to end all wars waged by an apocalyptic Iran.
Cross-posted at The Lid.