AIPAC Forms Lobbying Group Against Iran Deal

Powerful US pro-Israel lobby has created Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran in effort to influence Congress against recent deal.

Cynthia Blank ,

Netanyahu at AIPAC conference (file)
Netanyahu at AIPAC conference (file)
Flash 90

The pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has formed a new lobby group to oppose the nuclear deal reached last week with Iran. 

The group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, was formed with the mission of educating the public "about the dangers of the proposed Iran deal," spokesman Patrick Dorton told The New York Times.

“This will be a sizable and significant national campaign on the flaws in the Iran deal,” Dorton said, including efforts to convince American citizens to oppose the deal as well as place pressure on US legislators in the Congress and Senate. 

AIPAC, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the US, was quick to voice concerns over the deal, noting that initial reports suggested it would "fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon."

According to sources, AIPAC has allocated upwards of $20 million on Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, and has already planned an advertising campaign to reach 30 to 40 states. 

AIPAC believes it can convince Congress to vote to reject the deal, but is skeptical about gaining enough votes to overturn the veto expected from US President Barack Obama. 

While most Republicans have noted their opposition to the deal, many Democrats remain on the fence, which is why, Dorton noted, they would be the focal point of the lobbying group's efforts. 

“Democrats should be especially concerned, because the deal increases the chances of war, will spur a nuclear arms race and rewards an Iran with a horrific human rights record,” he said.

In addition to an advisory committee containing several former Democratic members of Congress, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran will also call on Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog to warn Democratic senators against the deal. 

In contrast, liberal Jewish lobby group J Street has launched a multi-million dollar campaign to advocate for the nuclear deal with Iran.