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March 1, 2015 12:09 pm

At AIPAC, Sens. Cardin and Graham Call for Strict Oversight of Iran Nuclear Program

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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. Photo: Wiki Commons. – At the start of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Sunday, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both called for strict oversight of the Iranian nuclear program in any deal that is reached with the Islamic Republic.

Graham said he is “glad we’re negotiating” with Iran because nobody wants a war. But Congress should “look at the deal, debate the deal, and vote on the deal” that the P5+1 powers reach with Iran. The deadline for a political framework agreement in the Iran talks is March 24.

“Between now and when that day [a deal is reached] comes, let us commit ourselves to make sure that as many eyes are on this deal before it becomes binding,” said Graham, who said that a bad deal with Iran would constitute “locking in place an enrichment program that is only monitored by the U.N. (United Nations).”

Cardin said the nuclear deal “has to be a very transparent agreement” with “inspectors there on the ground, [with] total access to all parts of Iran.”

One of 11 Senate Democrats who currently supports increased sanctions against Iran if no framework deal is reached by March 24, Cardin said sanctions are only reason that Iran is negotiating with the U.S. and other world powers.

“We’ve got to keep the heat on. … I have no doubt that Congress will pass stronger sanctions if there’s no agreement reached,” he said.

Graham noted that the Iranians have “toppled four Arab capitals”—in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq—and would likely use sanctions-relief money to further ramp up their regional military efforts.

“These are the people we’re trying to negotiate with about a nuclear weapon. What would they do if they had a nuclear weapon?… Understand who you’re dealing with,” Graham said, adding that Iran would destroy Israel if it could. Arab nations who have not built nuclear capability in response to Israel’s alleged nuclear program, because they trust Israel not to wipe them off the map, would not “trust the Shi’a Persians (Iran) with nuclear capability,” said Graham.

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    Zachor, Remember what Amalek did to you when you were leaving Egypt; that he ambushed you on the way, and he struck those of you who were in the rear, all the weakest at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear Gd. It shall be that when your Gd, gives you rest from all your enemies all around, in the land that, your Gd, gives you as an inheritance to possess it, you shall wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven—you shall not forget!

    What’s most amazing to me is that this war with Amalek continues—that the world is still so concerned with the fate of Israel and the small number of Jews in the world who do not even amount to a percentage of error when calculating the world’s population. The rhetoric is apocalyptic, even Biblical. Why care about Israel and the Jews? It must be a spiritual struggle of the generations. The Torah then has been proven to be incredibly wise in warning us never to forget or worse, to underestimate Amalek the anti-Semite—no matter how he may appear.

    ON Purim and we will read the story of how Haman, a descendant of Amalek, persuaded Achashveros, King of Persia, to destroy the Jews. But it’s also the story of our time! Once again Persia threatens to destroy the Jews, only this time its name has changed. We no longer call it Persia, we call it Iran. Do you know why?

    There was a love fest between Hitler and Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Persia, from the moment Hitler came to power in 1933. The shah was enamored with the concept of the Aryan master race—especially because Nazi racial theorists referred to Aryan origins in the Proto-Indo-European lineage of Persia. So intense was the shah’s identification with the Third Reich that in 1935 he—can you believe this—renamed his ancient country “Iran,” which in Farsi means “Aryan!” From that point on, Iranians were constantly reminded that their country was bonded with Nazi Germany for all time.

    During the war years, Iran became a haven and headquarters for Gestapo agents and German operatives. In Tehran’s marketplace, it was common to see placards that declared, “In heaven, Allah is your master. On Earth, it is Adolf Hitler!” (Edwin Black, 12/19/05, JTA) And so how could the president of Iran now deny that the Holocaust ever happened when his nation is named for Hitler’s master race?

    Let there be no mistake, the ultimate agenda of Iran and Hamas—like that of Hitler’s Germany—is not simply the destruction of Israel, but of the Jewish people. But many—like we saw in the media as Hitler rose to power—prefer to put their heads in the sand hoping it will all go away. They say that President Ahmadinejad is just using anti-Semitic rhetoric to deflect having to deal with domestic problems, and that Hamas will soften when it has to deal with the responsibilities of power, like collecting the garbage.

    Remember, they also said this about Hitler, about the Ayatollah, and even the Taliban when they took control of Afghanistan. The Torah is clear, Amalek and Haman and all of Jewish history teach us that we must take our enemies for their word. They mean what they say and they say what they mean.