Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva
Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in GenevaReuters

Most Americans have heard of the “Israel Lobby,” but few realize that there is an Iranian Lobby in Washington – and it is aggressively working to force Congress to rescind its invitation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to present his point of view on a possible deal between Iran and the Western countries on Tehran's nuclear development program.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which many in Washington accuse of being a mouthpiece for Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, took out a full page ad in Sunday's New York Times (such ads cost close to $200,000) seeking to further exacerbate the division between Congress and the White House on the matter of Netanyahu's speech. In the ad, House Speaker John Boehner is accused of “siding with a foreign leader” instead of the President of the United States, who is on the “verge of a diplomatic victory that will prevent war and prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

The ad does not explain how or why a speech by Netanyahu – whose opinions on the Iran nuclear issue are well-known – will impede an agreement that will “prevent a nuclear-armed Iran,” an objective Netanyahu has said that he hoped to convince US leaders was a preferred outcome of the negotiations.

Iranian leaders have said on many occasions that they will “never” give up their nuclear program. On Saturday, a senior figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Mujtabi Du Al-Nour, threatened that Tel Aviv could be destroyed “in ten minutes” if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the Revolutionary Guards leader, Iran has rockets that can reach the heart of Tel Aviv within six or seven minutes, "even before the rockets of the Zionists reach us."

“The U.S. and its closest allies are on the brink of a historic deal that will both prevent an Iranian bomb and war with Iran, and Congressional hawks are orchestrating political stunts with foreign leaders to try to kill it,” said NIAC President Trita Parsi in a press release. “The American people do not want another senseless military adventure and certainly don’t consider Benjamin Netanyahu to be their commander in chief.”