The PJ Tatler

These Former Dem Senate and House Members are Whipping Their Old Colleagues Against Iran Deal

You may be seeing a lot of promoted tweets and ads — and more to come — from Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, whipping against the Iran nuclear deal.

Meet the advisory board for 501(c)(4) CNFI: all former congressional Democrats now lobbying their old colleagues to vote against a bad deal.

There’s former two-term Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who decided not to run for re-election in 2010. He sat on the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees.

There’s former Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who was defeated last fall by now-Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).

There’s former Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), who ran for the Senate in 2012 and lost to Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). She also sits on the board of directors at The Israel Project.

And former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who was defeated by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) last fall. She, like Begich, had a history of defying the Obama administration on Iran sanctions.

The board is rounded out by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the onetime Democratic vice presidential nominee turned indie after being ousted by an antiwar candidate in the 2006 primary.

Lieberman quickly got cracking on outreach to oppose the deal, telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee two weeks ago he “cannot think of a more consequential vote that you will take” on the security of the United States and the world.

Lieberman noted at the hearing that some will try to convince members of Congress that rejecting the deal would be “catastrophic,” and those people will “intimidate” and “demonize” lawmakers to get approval as members are “pushed and pulled.”

“Those are false arguments and I urge you to reject them,” he said. “…Rejecting this bad deal will not result in war; it will give the administration a new opportunity to pursue a better deal.”

CNFI notes that it was founded this year “in response to concerns surrounding the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, plus Germany) and Iran.”

“Following public release of the proposed nuclear agreement in July 2015, CNFI began an intensive communications effort to educate the public about the significant flaws and serious consequences of the proposed deal,” the group states.

CNFI is publicly cheering Dems who come out against the Iran deal, including Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), who outlined his opposition in a San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed.

“It’s stunning, really. Just four days after large crowds in Tehran and across Iran chanted ‘Death to America,’ as they burned our flag in government-led demonstrations, President Obama announced an agreement with the Islamic Republic. The president is right; this agreement is historic, but for all the wrong reasons,” Vargas wrote.

“…Congress is now faced with a decision of monumental importance. Do we accept an agreement that fails to block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons, or do we stand up and say no. I intend to stand up and vote against this deal. This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of our national security, and the security of our allies and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this deal and press for a better deal that will truly end Iran’s nuclear weapons program and make the world safer.”