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House Republicans Giving Green Light for Israeli Strike on Iran

Resolution supports Israel’s right 'to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran,' including use of force.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/28/2010, 7:45 PM / Last Update: 7/28/2010, 7:36 PM

Flash 90

Nearly one third of the Republican congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a resolution that would support Israel's right to use “all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran”, including military force.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert [R-Texas] and 46 co-sponsors.

House Resolution 1553 “condemns the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its threats of ‘annihilating’ the United States and the State of Israel, for its continued support of international terrorism, and for its incitement of genocide of the Israeli people.”

It “supports using all means of persuading the Government of Iran to stop building and acquiring nuclear weapons” and pledges that the U.S. will ensure that Israel “continues to receive critical economic and military assistance, including missile defense capabilities, needed to address the threat of Iran.”

In addition, it “expresses support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran, defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within a reasonable time.”

Iran lobby alarmed
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Iranian lobby group, is up in arms over the proposed resolution.

“Obviously we are reaching silly season in Washington with the elections in November,” NIAC's founder-president Trita Parsi told RN, a news venue that focuses on Russian issues. He added that “there have already been some signs that Israel is going to be a major element that some Republicans will use to get both voters as well as finance, donations to campaigns, away from the Democrats.”

However, Parsi said, “even silly season has real repercussions on the real world.” The resolution would send “a dangerous signal” to Israel, that some in congress would welcome military action by it against Iran, while the White House and U.S. military oppose such a strike, he argued.

NIAC's website warned that the “game plan” behind HR 1553 was spelled out earlier this month by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton in the Wall Street Journal, when he wrote: “Having visible congressional support in place at the outset [of an attack] will reassure the Israeli government, which is legitimately concerned about Mr. Obama's likely negative reaction to such an attack.”

“The Obama Administration quietly resisted Congressional efforts to pass unilateral economic sanctions for over a year, before ultimately giving in to Congressional pressure,” NIAC wrote. “Now that 'crippling' sanctions have been put in place, the far-right wing and Iran-hawks have begun openly advocating for what has always been their ultimate objective: war with Iran.” 

NIAC warned that an attack on Iran would ignite a regional war that would put the lives of “innocent Americans, Iranians, and Israelis” in harm's way, as well as risking the pro-democracy movement in Iran, U.S. national security and the stability of Iraq and Afghanistan and the global economy, which relies on oil from the Persian Gulf.

NIAC denies allegations that it is used as a tool by the Iranian regime, citing its condemnations of human rights abuses in Iran.