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…
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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. Item 3, I disagree: Ayatollahs are dumb and smart enough at the same time; it depends on how you look at it. The reason: Just imagine if Ayatollahs were smart enough, as suggested in the article, and had not prolonged their animosity towards the “Great and small Satan”. Then Mr. Natanyahu would have not been impelled to go to congress and make a fool of himself, insulted and antagonized the U.S administration to an astonishing and unprecedented extent, and jeopardized short and long term relation Israel – U.S. relations. In short, dumbness of Ayatollahs, has brought out the worst dumbness in Mr. Natanyahu too. Ayatollah’s actions would have been so dumb if their opponent’s actions had been smart. With a friend like Natanyahu, Israel needs no enemies. Ayatollahs would keep giving him a rope and watch him hang himself, and Israeli interest as well.

  2. The mullahs have been giving Nathanyahu ropes deliberately since he came to power! In fact mullahs hope for BiBi is to carry out his own words that he made a few weeks ago! BiBi said “he’d kill himself if the deal goes through”. Unfortunately he can only exterminate the children of Palestine so the Israelis won’t have to deal with the youth in the future!

  3. Israel needs an “existential” threat to keep the money coming from the diaspora and to continue to justify the welfare from the U.S. Even though both U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies agree that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, the U.S. is committed to insuring Israel’s “Quantitative Military Edge” based upon lies. Now, Obama wants to give Israel an additional $4 billion as some kind of compensation after the agreement with Iran which will insure Israel’s military hegemony in the ME.

    The rumor is that Obama will also compensate Israel by releasing the traitorous Israeli spy Pollard. Obama stands up to Netanyahoo on Iran only to reward him and the lobby to protect his political career, which the zionists can damage.

  4. Noticeably absent from this list is any mention of U.S. national security interest. Can someone PLEASE tell me why AIPAC doesn’t have to register as a foreign agent? After all, on February 21, 2015 Former Israeli Ambassador, Michael Oren, tweeted that “AIPAC is Israel’s national strategic asset”

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