FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council strongly opposes today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee adoption of S.Res.65, a resolution conveying U.S. support for potential Israeli military strikes on Iran. NIAC urges the Senate to delay any further action on this resolution and to instead work to advance a serious diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute.
“This is a dangerous step towards a war of choice with Iran,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “This resolution sets the stage for Israeli strikes and for a Congressional vote to authorize military force against Iran.”
NIAC has opposed this measure as a backdoor to war since its introduction. By calling for the U.S. to unconditionally provide military, economic, and diplomatic support for Israel should the country attack Iran, the original draft would have effectively outsourced the decision to go to war to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The Committee responded to these concerns by amending the resolution so that it does not grant unconditional U.S. support for Israeli military action, but instead requiring that Israeli military action be in “legitimate” self defense and that U.S. military support would require Congressional authorization. These conditions appear aimed at bringing the resolution in line with international law and U.S. law, which is welcome, but insufficient.
“The resolution is still a step towards war–albeit, a war authorized by Congress,” said Abdi.
The lead sponsor of the resolution, Senator Lindsey Graham, has been forthcoming about the intended strategy behind the resolution: to set the stage for a Congressional vote to authorize the use of military force against Iran.
The resolution also retains dangerous factual inaccuracies. It states that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, ignoring the fact that the intelligence community in the United States, the E.U., and Israel are all in agreement that Iran has not made the decision to build a weapon.
“If the Senate is seriously interested in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and avoiding a disastrous war of choice, it must support a diplomatic solution,” said Abdi. “Unless we break the cycle of mutual saber rattling and escalation, these threats of war will become a self fulfilling prophecy.”