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Diplomatic Pressure

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Bush. Upset AIPAC Photo: AFP
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Iranian nuclear facility. Russia will help  Photo: Reuters

AIPAC slams Bush's Iran policy


Pro-Israel lobbying group criticizes Bush administration for reversing stance on Iran's nuclear program, failing to support bringing case before U.N.'s Security Council. New policy is disturbing and dangerous, AIPAC says in letter to Congress
Yitzhak Benhorin


American President George W. Bush's handling of Iran's nuclear program is "disturbing" and dangerous," pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) claimed this week in a letter circulated to supporters on Capitol Hill, The Washington Post reported Sunday.


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The release mostly criticized the United States' willingness to accept a Russian compromise to allow Iran develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision.


AIPAC, which clashed with democratic and republican leaders in the past, has until now remained supportive of Bush and his administration, considered to be one of Israel's greatest allies.


However, the pro-Israel lobby set out to target Bush and his strategy, after the president recently reversed his stance on the Iranian issue, and decided to hold off pushing to report Iran's nuclear case to the U.N. Security Council.


'Disturbing shift in Administration's policy'


In a statement to members of Congress, AIPAC said that it "is concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the 'Russian proposal,' indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration's policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies."


"This decision will facilitate Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and undermines international efforts to stop Iran from achieving such a capability," AIPAC stated in the letter.


While in the past two years Israel and the United States saw eye to eye on the subject of bringing Iran's case to the Security Council, the American government has mellowed its standpoint on the issue last month, in fear that Russia will veto any proposal regarding Iran in the council.


Notably, what apparently prompted AIPAC to release the letter were recent statements by Israeli government officials expressing concern over Bush's handling of the Iranian case.


(12.25.05, 10:40)


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