An NGO comprised of American Iraq War veterans has launched an advertising campaign this week aimed at convincing US lawmakers to vote against the Iran nuclear deal, Bloomberg News reported.
The group, Veterans Against the Deal, claims to be non-partisan, although its donors have not been disclosed.
The group's television advertisements, airing in a number of US states in which senators are thought to be "on the fence" about whether or not to support the deal, feature veterans wounded by Iranian bombs during the Iraq War. The group also includes veterans who were injured in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, perpetrated by Iranian proxy, Hezbollah.
The group is actually less concerned with Iran's nuclear program than it is with the infusion of money the Islamic Republic will receive when sanctions against Tehran are lifted as part of the agreement.
The veterans fear that Iran will pump this money into their support for terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.
“A vote for this deal means more money for Iranian terrorism. What do you think they are going to do when they get more money?” Staff Sergeant Robert Bartlett, who was badly injured by an Iranian bomb while serving in Iraq in 2005 asks in the group's first advertisement.
“Every politician who is involved in this will be held accountable, they will have blood on their hands,” Bartlett adds.
Veterans Against the Deal's executive director is Michael Pregent, a former intelligence adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, who served in Iraq. “Our main argument is that veterans know Iran better than Washington, D.C., does. You’ve got a lot of veterans out there who are pretty upset about this, so we are looking to capture their voices and make sure they are heard,” he told Bloomberg.
Pregent said that the group's donors include Democrats, Republicans and veterans who oppose the deal.