One senior congressional aide familiar with efforts to sanction Iran said NIAC is widely viewed as Tehran’s in-house lobbying shop.
He is also scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss improvement of bilateral ties as well as the results of the nuclear negotiations now underway in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Earlier this month, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) announced the formal creation of a lobby organization called “NIAC Action”, in effect formalizing legally the advocacy work in which NIAC had always been engaged.
“We are absolutely ready for this”, he said.
That’s how Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a key Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, interpreted Kerry’s words. “We will not show flexibility regarding our red lines”, the Iranian diplomat, who was not identified, told ISNA.
Huckabee’s latest video builds on stark imagery from a bygone era in warning this generation of the potentially dangerous enemy we now face. But if a deal is not reached by 6 am in Vienna (0400 GMT), the sceptical Republican-led United States Congress will have 60 days rather than 30 days to review it, extra time United States President Barack Obama’s administration worries could derail it. That’s twice as much time for vocal opponents to tear the details of the deal apart and rally votes against the measure.
Meanwhile, the White House said that it is unlikely that the talks will go on for many more weeks. “Despite all of the progress that we have made – and it’s real – some of the tough issues remain unresolved”.
But the U.S. doesn’t want the arms ban ended because it could allow Tehran to expand its military assistance to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s embattled government, for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon. “That strategy is inimical to the interests of the United States and its allies in many ways”, said Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institute in prepared remarks. “And he said that the chances at this point are below 50-50”, said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Politico.
Though Iran has agreed to claw back its nuclear programme substantially and accepted long term surveillance and certification by IAEA, it seeks the immediate suspension of the sanctions, a position that is, so far, not accepted by the West. The US and Europe insist on IAEA certification that Iran has implemented all its nuclear obligations.
The US and Europe have been dead set against lifting the embargo and sanctions because of Iran’s forceful politics in the Middle East, where it arms and funds the likes of Hezbollah, Hamas, and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Indeed, on July 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We are calling for lifting the embargo as soon as possible and we will support the choices that Iran’s negotiators make”.