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Congress Alert

Back From Middle East, US Reps Freak Out About Iran

As Ron Paul wrote this week in his weekly column (free subscription here), the recent slight thaw in US/Iranian relations is reason for optimism. But, he warned, it should be very cautious optimism. He wrote that the danger from the neocons may even be greater when some progress is made in US/Iran relations:
[T]hose pushing for war will not give up that easily...There will be much more war propaganda coming our way as the warmongers get more desperate.
Likewise, he wrote that some Members of Congress are even trying to pass war authorization legislation against Iran. That is how out of touch with reality they are.

How right he was.

Today we read that a group of freshman Members of Congress have written a letter to President Obama urging him to "continue the pressure of sanctions and be clear force is an option... until Tehran takes meaningful steps to stop and reverse its illicit nuclear activities."

The Members write that they are just back from a trip to the Middle East. Such trips are very common among first-term Members and are often dog-and-pony propaganda sessions with extreme elements in Israel. They are also often followed by speeches and letters employing such hysterical language as "time is running out" with Iran and that “we stand ready to use force if necessary,” as was contained in this letter.

The phrase "reverse its illicit nuclear activities" is utterly meaningless and reveals the ignorance of these first-term foreign policy "experts." If they mean Iran's nuclear weapons program, they should perhaps expand their reading lists. Both the CIA and the Mossad agree that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon.

So what do they mean? The neocon line here and the Netanyahu line in Israel that Iran should not be permitted the peaceful use of nuclear energy? Do they not know that as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Iran is legally permitted to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy -- and that in fact it would be a violation of the NPT for any country to demand that Iran give up its right to peaceful uranium enrichment? Of course that violation would only apply to the United States, as Israel is not a signatory of the NPT.

Before we write this off as the emotional reaction of a few impressionable young Members of Congress, we should know that this incendiary letter meant to wrong-foot Obama's efforts toward lowering the temperature with Iran was signed by 70 -- that's right seventy --  Members of Congress. They range from "R" to "D", "liberal" to "conservative". But when it comes to Iran, they are all neocons.
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