Former AIPAC Official on Iran’s Importance to AIPAC

by Jim Lobe

Chris Nelson writes and publishes a private daily newsletter (The Nelson Report) that’s considered must-reading for everyone from Washington think-tankers, lobbyists, administration officials, and congressional staff to foreign embassies and multinational corporations. He closely follows events and developments affecting East Asian geo-politics and –economics and is as well-connected to D.C. policy circles as anyone I know. His access—based on his many decades of Washington experience, his fairness, and his discretion in protecting sources—is probably without parallel, at least among journalists who cover the region and beyond.

So it was pretty compelling Thursday when The Nelson Report quoted a “former AIPAC official” on why the legendary lobby was so heavily invested in persuading Congress to reject the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1. I’m posting it here with Chris’s permission. Here’s what the unnamed former official told him:

Chris, here’s 5 reasons why AIPAC thinks it’s right on Iran (i.e.,to keep targeting Iran)

  1. Iran has been the group’s raison d’être for 2 decades and it doesn’t know what else to do; its troops are trained to attack Iran and the lobby can’t afford to admit failure lest it lose supporters.
  2. Iran has been an enormously lucrative fundraiser for AIPAC; just look at what they’re spending on this campaign alone.  It needs to keep the issue alive for institutional imperatives.
  3. Until this agreement was signed, AIPAC never had any competition. Everyone wanted to bash Iran. (It’s today’s replacement for the Soviet Union, Apartheid South Africa and Qadaffi.) Even with this agreement, Iran will continue to act in ways that make it an inviting target.  The Ayatollahs aren’t smart enough to stop chanting Death to America and stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map, practices which are a boon to AIPAC.
  4. Without this cause AIPAC and this Israeli government as well as their Republican allies may have to focus on more critical issue, like peace with the Palestinians.
  5. So Iran-bashing’s what Bibi and their big givers want…

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. I disagree with item #3” The Ayatollahs aren’t smart enough to stop chanting Death to America and stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map“. They are smart enough to have fooled everyone, including many Iranian intellectuals in 1979. In the beginning, both chants were used for domestic use particularly during Iran-Iraq war and now to divert attention and maintain economic benefits by the power groups. As an Iranian Ambassador once said “ for many years we have been chanting death to America, we can’t overnight say long live America”. Ayatollahs are very pragmatic and adapt for their own interest.

  2. So at the price of creating a catastrophe AIPAC must continue its campaign against Iran to justify its fundraising and its existence?? This is immoral, in the long run counter productive and irresponsible. That is the best so many intelligent influential people can do ?? Most disappointing!!

  3. Any organization which tries to sustain itself purely on money alone without any morals bound to loose and self destruct itself eventually! The era of fear mongering has been short live and it’s come to light and people around the world are recognizing it and see through it when pundits talk! The news media has been and continues to be used and abused by the fearmongers for the past 3 decades! The news media is no longer reports the news and it has become an institution which attracts pundits with their warped opinions, paid by their ill intended supporters, to sway public opinions about the issues of the day without presenting a shred of evidence in support of their claims! But I believe this trend and fad is coming to an end slowly as the people continue to recognize the media evil intentions of being a sound box for the evil doers!

  4. Iran as a bugaboo makes it easier for Israel to continue to grow the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank. Drinks all around, right?

  5. Shi’a mullahs (preachers) have lasted close to 1400 years and they’ve been in power in Iran twice so far! Once during the Safavid dynasty about 400 years ago and the second time in recent decades! Mullahs are bad dudes but they are persistent! Just remember for their survival they have created a villain by the name of Yazied and a hero by the name of Hossain for nearly 1400 years! They do chant for their hero and spit at the villain for 60 days out of every year since then or around 84000 times (and that is only for one mullah) thus far and they haven’t given up yet! With their slogan they’ve been able to expand the Shi’a population to about 200M people worldwide! Therefore I wouldn’t under estimate them and for that matter the preachers must be kept under a constant watch and at arms length distance at all times!

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