Throughout this week, new ad campaigns going for the jugular on a nuclear deal with Iran have been popping up in very quick succession. It seems that the Anti-Iran diplomacy coalition is stepping up its game in anticipation of a difficult fight in Congress over whether or not to sink the Iran Nuclear Deal before it sets sail.
United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)
On June 23, 2015, UANI launched an ad campaign with the tagline “America can’t risk more concessions.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “the effort, which the group says will cost millions of dollars, is to include television spots and full-page ads in major newspapers that run through the duration of talks.” The implication of this ad is that the deal will not be enough to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons because of all the concessions we’re supposedly making. But the ‘concessions’ it lists – “Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact… Over the next 10-15 years, all restrictions will end… No inspection of any military site will be allowed” – range from misleading to false. Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will be scaled back significantly under the deal, and will remain in place for energy and medical purposes. Iran will be subject to IAEA inspections for 20-25 years. And it is very likely that, despite the Ayatollah’s recent statements to the contrary, the deal will include some mechanism for managed access and inspections of suspect military sites.
Secure America Now
Also on June 23, Secure America Now launched a $1 million ad campaign targeting Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Angus King (I-ME), all potential swing votes in the battle in Congress over the nuclear deal. The ad implies, although doesn’t state outright, that the father of the woman in the video was killed by an explosive provided to Iraqi fighters by Iran. Then the woman says “and now President Obama would do a deal that lets Iran get a nuclear weapon?” The ad finishes: “Tell your Senators to stop any deal that would let Iran get nuclear weapons, ever.” The ‘ever’ at the end there is significant, because it implicitly admits that the deal is capable of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear, just not forever. It suggests that because the deal won’t last forever, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. This is by far the most outrageous requirement for a ‘good deal’ put forward by this coalition yet; that only a deal that lasts forever would be sufficient.
American Security Initiative (ASI)
On June 24, 2015, ASI launched a $1.4 million ad campaign warning the country of a ‘dangerous deal’ about to be struck with Iran, and ending with a request: “Call Senator Schumer and tell him, no Iran Deal without unconditional inspections.” As negotiators race to finish a deal before July 10th (when the Congressional review period for the deal would be automatically extended by 30 days if no deal has been presented to Congress), ASI is calling for a vote of disapproval of any deal that does not allow for unconditional inspections of all of Iran’s facilities, nuclear or otherwise. Given Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statements that unannounced inspections of Iran’s military sites are out of the question, ASI has clearly chosen this qualifier for an acceptable deal exactly because it is out of the question.
(In March, ASI released a similarly fear-inspiring ad that depicted a man driving a van through a crowded city and to the top of a parking structure before detonating a nuclear bomb.)
Conservative Solutions Project
On June 25, 2015, the Conservative Solutions Project launched an ad campaign that will cost over $1 million in its first week of airtime. According to the Washington Post, the campaign will include cable TV, radio, and online components. The ad is technically an issue ad, although it doubles as a campaign ad for presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, an outspoken critic of the diplomatic process. The ad says, “President Obama is negotiating a bad deal with Iran. Senator Marco Rubio is fighting to stop it… Tell your senators to join Marco Rubio. Vote against Obama’s deal and stop Iran from getting the bomb.” The ad ends with a loud bang, a shaky screen and a mushroom cloud, playing on a fundamental and legitimate fear of nuclear war that has existed since the creation of the first nuclear weapon. The implication, of course, is that Iran is hell bent on detonating a nuclear bomb on American soil, a position that has not one shred of verifiable evidence behind it.
Don’t let the billionaires behind this coalition destroy this once in a lifetime opportunity to validate the diplomatic process and make diplomacy rather than war the go-to approach for US foreign policy. Call your Senator today and tell them to support the nuclear deal with Iran. The Capitol switchboard is 1-202-224-3121. The switchboard operator will connect you with the office you request.