As the Obama administration is in the midst of delicate nuclear agreement negotiations with Iran, 58 Senators, including 16 Democrats, are co-sponsoring a sanctions bill that would effectively torpedo the current talks and increase the likelihood of war with Iran.
Despite the fact that Americans overwhelmingly oppose another war in the Middle East, these Senators are pushing hard to antagonize the Iranian government. Why? This one fact will provide a key hint. Fifty-five of the 58 Senators who are co-sponsors of this pro-war bill are the largest recipients of money from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), totaling $7.3 million (2007-2012). Israel has long made its desire to attack Iran (or have the U.S. do it) public, and their strong lobbying efforts are bearing fruit with this latest sanctions bill.
Obama met with the Democratic Senators supporting the bill at the White House yesterday to try and persuade them to let the current negotiations proceed, but only time will tell us who has more influence in Washington, the President of the United States or the State of Israel.