Jewish groups lobby for new sanctions on Iran, deal or not

Lobbying has continued unabated despite reports of 60-day moratorium on pushing for new Senate sanctions.

Obama addresses AIPAC policy conference 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Obama addresses AIPAC policy conference 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Major American Jewish organizations have continued lobbying Congress to pass new sanctions targeting Iran without pause, despite reports of a deal struck between their leaders and the Obama administration to delay such efforts until the end of the year.
A series of articles in Haaretz claimed that a deal had been reached to hold a 60-day moratorium on lobbying for the bill. But the inaccuracy of the reporting is self-evident: Senate aides say that lobbying continued unabated throughout the week, and major groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee, have both publicly and privately denied such a deal was agreed upon, or even discussed.
Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, says his organization would not press for new action for one or two months’ time.
But AIPAC made clear in a statement on Sunday that Foxman’s decision was not their own.
“Until Iran suspends its enrichment program, additional sanctions are vital for diplomacy to succeed,” the statement read. “AIPAC continues to support congressional action to adopt legislation to further strengthen sanctions, and there will absolutely be no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts.”
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post last week, David Harris, executive director of the AJC, also denied the reports.
“I can tell you, within AJC, no decision has been made to support the Senate measure,” Harris said. “There’s no process in place to reconsider our decision.”