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Israel pressures US Congress to continue sanctions against Iran

February 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli newspaper, has reported that “Israel and the Israeli lobby in the United States have spent intense efforts to urge the US Congress to reject the easing of sanctions against Iran” one week before world powers meet with Iran next week in Geneva.

According to the newspaper “US Congressmen who support Barack Obama, strongly disagree with conservatives who refuse to ease the sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile Israel stands behind the scenes supporting the pro- sanctions camp”.

Netanyahu met with members of the US Congress last week, led by foreign relations chairman, Senator Robert Menendez, and urged them to continue the pressure on Iran. Israel’s defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon arrived in Washington yesterday, where he met with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel to discuss the Iranian question.

According to the newspaper, “the US congress has imposed sanctions on Iran and thus it is the only body to mitigate or cancel them which explains Israeli efforts to meet with members of Congress”.

A report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed that the pro- Israeli lobby in Washington, AIPAC, had sent an email yesterday warning of the consequences of premature concessions to Iran. The message said that “Iran must immediately halt all activities to enrich uranium to pave the way for the negotiations. Iran is very close to acquiring nuclear power and the United States should make clear to Iran that it would consider easing sanctions when Iran stops its nuclear project.”