AIPAC, AJC won’t suspend Iran sanctions lobbying; ADL willing

AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) refused a White House request to suspend lobbying for new sanctions on Iran.

Top National Security Council staffers in an Oct. 29 meeting had asked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the AJC to suspend for 60 days lobbying for new congressional legislation that would intensify sanctions. They also made the request to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said he favored the suspension and would not lobby for or against new sanctions. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Presidents Conference, was unavailable for comment.

AIPAC said over the weekend that “there will absolutely be no pause, delay or moratorium in our efforts” to advance the sanctions.

In a column on Nov. 4 in Haaretz, AJC Director David Harris showed some sympathy to the Obama administration’s view that new sanctions could disrupt renewed talks with Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program.

However, he found the argument in favor of such sanctions “more compelling.”