Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo by Bloomberg / Archive

Whether reviled or admired, the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States has long been the stuff of legend. Both its detractors and its supporters alike view the lobby, especially AIPAC, as enjoying immense influence in Washington DC. This perception has itself fuelled the lobby’s power, as politicians fear incurring its supposedly mighty wrath. Now this power is being tested in a very public manner.
The “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013” is a bill that was introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Mark Kirk (R-Ill) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) , and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 26 senators. It would impose even more crippling sanctions on Iran if it violates the interim nuclear deal signed in Geneva last month, or if no comprehensive agreement - involving the complete dismantling of Iran’s enrichment capabilities - is achieved after the expiration of the interim deal. The bill also calls for American “diplomatic, military and economic support” to Israel if Prime Minister Netanyahu decides to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear program.