Secretary of State John Kerry has been painting an apocalyptic picture of what would happen if Congress killed the Iran nuclear deal. Among other things, he has warned that “our friends in this effort will desert us.” But the top national security official from one of those nations involved in the negotiations, France, has a totally different view: He told two senior U.S. lawmakers that he thinks a Congressional no vote might actually be helpful.
His analysis is already having an effect on how members of Congress, especially House Democrats, are thinking about the deal.
The French official, Jacques Audibert, is now the senior diplomatic adviser to President Francois Hollande. Before that, as the director general for political affairs in the Foreign Ministry from 2009 to 2014, he led the French diplomatic team in the discussions with Iran and the P5+1 group. Earlier this month, he met with Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Mike Turner, both top members of the House Armed Services Committee, to discuss the Iran deal. The U.S. ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, was also in the room. Read more at Bloomberg View.
Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding the proposed nuclear agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon:
“I am opposed to the current proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, I do not feel the agreement will prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Energy testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this week, but I am still very doubtful. Iran has spent decades evading international sanctions, promoting terror in the region, and violently oppressing its own people. I am concerned that if the proposed agreement is made official, hardliners within the Iranian regime may hinder its implementation. Most importantly, the time frame of the deal is too short and it is unclear what will happen to Iran’s nuclear program after the initial pressure to comply dissipates and Iran is allowed to enhance its nuclear and weapons capabilities.
In the coming months, I will continue to meet with constituents, experts, and our allies in the region, but I am not convinced that this is in the best interest of our national security.”
Rep. Albio Sires’ statement is posted on his website.
Christians United for Israel, a nonprofit that boasts 2.1 million members nationwide, began its campaign by sending 5,000 members and supporters to Capitol Hill for its D.C. summit the Tuesday morning the administration announced it had reached a deal with Iran.
It has since worked to inundate members’ offices with phone and email messages opposing the deal. After issuing an action alert urging calls to their congressmen to voice concern, the group’s members sent more than 150,000 emails to congressional offices in a 24-hour period, according to Ari Morgenstern, the group’s communications director.
The group plans to build on that effort over the recess and has identified more than 50 House Democrats and 20 senators to target by showing up to town hall meetings, and in some cases holding rallies in specific districts.
“The American people oppose this bad deal, and the more they learn about it, the more they oppose it,” said David Brog, CUFI’s executive director.
Brog says the group has two missions over the next month: to continue to educate its members about why the deal falls short and encourage them to educate their family and friends, and organize its members to set up meetings with elected officials and attend members’ townhall meetings to raise the issue in person. Read more about CUFI’s education and mobilization of grassroots activists at the Washington Examiner.
Save A Child’s Heart treats children from around the world. (Photo credit: Save A Child’s Heart)
Wolfson hospital sends delegation to save children with congenital heart defects.
The delegation traveled to the eastern African country under the auspices of Wolfson Medical Center’s Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) organization.
Some of the youngsters who were examined will be brought to Israel in a few months to undergo cardiac surgery at Wolfson.
Headed by surgeon Lior Sasson, the team was in Africa for a week to examine, treat and operate on children in Dar es Salam. Also on board was a young surgeon from Ethiopia whose name was given as Dr. Yaio. He has been undergoing advanced training at the Holon hospital, and in another three years he will return to Ethiopia to work as his country’s first pediatric cardiac surgeon.
Godfrey Goodwin, a pediatric heart surgeon from Tanzania who underwent six years of training with Save a Child’s Heart, was head of the Tanzanian team that worked with the Israelis. Goodwin returned to his native country two years ago. Since then, he and colleagues have independently treated local children with heart defects even though they still needed Israel’s help in coping with the huge number of children who need medical help. Read more at The Jerusalem Post.