Iran deal faces US Congress pincer: Analyst

A US political commentator says the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers faces a real test in the US Congress, which is under the thumb of the Israeli lobby.

Professor James Petras, who has written several books on Latin America and the Middle East, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday.

Petras called the November 24 agreement a historical step forward, but added that “the big fight is still to come, and that is the fight with the Israel lobby that has such a stranglehold on the US Congress.”

“It is time if this is going to advance — the peace process, the negotiations, the reconciliation — [President Barack] Obama has to pull his pants up and take on the Israeli lobby in Congress because if the Israeli lobby gets their way, what they are demanding is the surrender of Iranian sovereignty to dismantle its entire program.”

“That is [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s agenda. That is what the Israeli lobby is pushing and that is what the influence in American Congress. That should not pass and I think the only way is for the White House to stand up to that and continue on a progressive path beginning with the initial settlement that has taken place,” he added.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China — plus Germany, sealed an interim deal in Geneva on November 24 to pave the way for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

As part of the deal, Iran has agreed to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, and the US and its allies have agreed to lift some of the economic sanctions and offer access to a portion of the revenue that Tehran has been denied through these sanctions. No additional sanctions will be imposed.

The White House has promised not just to prevent the imposition of new sanctions, but also to ease significantly the sanctions already in place. And that depends on the cooperation of Congress.

Some members of Congress have been discussing imposing more sanctions on Iran for months, but they held off after the Obama administration asked for time to let diplomats reach a deal.

Shortly after the agreement was announced, Netanyahu, who had dispatched senior officials from his cabinet to the US to lobby against an agreement with Iran, blasted the interim deal as a “historic mistake” and vowed that Israel would do everything to derail it.

By Press TV


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