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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Foreign Lobby Trying To Control The Iran Debate (It's NOT Who You Think)

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.

One of the many unanswered questions about P5+1 agreement is why so many Congressional Democrats are rallying behind the President on this issue when recent polls show the majority of Americans want congress to reject the deal. Part of the reason is obvious they are supporting a president from their own party, but a not so obvious reason may be that Iranian lobbyists are making big campaign donations to Democrats and are funding pro-deal propaganda.

Writing in Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield pointed out that many of the Democratic legislators who  announced their support for the deal are getting money from the Iran lobby, specifically the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) :

IPAC maxed out its contributions to Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and Al Franken received the same $5,000 during the 2014 election cycle.
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.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who represents the state with the largest Jewish population in America surprised many with her support of the deal. Per Greenfield she not only received money from IAPAC when she first ran for congress but:
Gillibrand had also picked up money from the Iran Lobby’s Hassan Nemazee. Nemazee was Hillary’s national campaign finance director who had raised a fortune for both her and Kerry before pleading guilty to a fraud scheme encompassing hundreds of millions of dollars. Nemazee had been an IAPAC trustee and had helped set up the organization.

(...) 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, each one of them supports Obama's 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.

A member of Iran’s opposition had accused Biden’s campaigns of being “financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network.” Biden’s affinity for the terrorist regime in Tehran was so extreme that after 9/11 he had suggested, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran”.

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.

Another part of the Iran lobby pushing the deal is The Ploughshares Fund. Ploughshares is not pushing the deal directly, but it's financing many of the other groups pushing Congress to vote yes.  Michael Rubin exposed the Plowshares money in a recent Commentary piece.

According to Rubin, 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.” Ploughshares 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) which has worked to promote the Iran agreement.

“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 they're 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.

"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.”

At various times during the debate about his Iran agreement President Obama has talked about nefarious lobby money pushing against peace. Something that many have commented was a not-so-veiled reference to the anti-Semitic meme that some hidden "Jewish lobby" controls the government (to be honest the only hidden Jewish lobby I know of is in my Synagogue, and it needs a paint job-two coats).

There is a lobby that neither the president nor the congressional supporters of his deal will talk about. The supporters of the Iran regime. 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, the P5+1 agreement. Long-term, that deal may very well be remembered by the ultimate war to end all wars waged by an apocalyptic Iran.

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