Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s pro-Israel image is being tarnished – make that blackened – by a firmly based report that she is the number one obstacle to a bi-partisan Congressional initiative to threaten new sanctions on Iran, effectively scuttling the recent interim agreement secured by President Barack Obama and the rest of the P5+1 club.
Her spoiler role, reported Wednesday by the Washington Free Beacon, starkly differs from her wild support in August 2012 for the “hardest-hitting sanctions in history” against Iran thanks to Congress having made “clear to the world [that] we are resolute in using all tools at our disposal to halt Iran’s nefarious nuclear ambitions.”
Those “nefarious ambitions” apparently have transformed in less than 18 months into the development of enriched uranium for medical research and other do-good humanitarian efforts that are a disguise for a nuclear warhead headed for Israel, if not Washington.
President Obama has threatened he will veto any Congressional bill to impose harsher sanctions on Iran and put a hole in his “engagement” with the Ayatollahs. Nevertheless, leading Democrats such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer and New Jersey’s Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker don’t buy it, and they support the proposed bill that shows Iran it cannot get away with murder literally.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland also was on the sanction bandwagon but backed off in the past two weeks. Why?
All fingers point to Wasserman Schultz, the Free Beacon reported, and the reactions back home in her strongly Jewish South Florida district are far from favorable.
“Every minute she is publicly silent, or working against bipartisan efforts to pressure Iran, is a minute she is siding with the Mullahs over the American people who overwhelmingly want mounting pressure,” one Democratic Congressman told the Washington newspaper.
“Debbie has been busy at home telling her constituents she is doing all she can to stop Iran, but in reality it appears she is busy behind the scenes working to scuttle bipartisan action to put increased sanctions pressure on Iran.”
It quoted a South Florida Jewish community leader as saying that her constituents have serious problems with her new soft-on-Iran position.
She has a Congressional ally with Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who also opposed the bi-partisan effort, but she will have a lot of explaining to do at a meeting this week called by Jewish leaders in her South Florida district.
Wasserman Schultz’s spokeswoman did not reply to the Free Beacon’s request for a comment on the report.
The first sign of her currying favor with President Obama and closing her eyes to Iranian’s Islamic wish to annihilate Israel came on November 25, after the interim agreement was reached.
“I commend President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Under Secretary Sherman and their team for the tremendous amount of work they put into these negotiations,” she said in a press release. “This agreement provides a framework to stop the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran while we work to negotiate a broad, comprehensive deal to permanently dismantle their nuclear weapons capability.”
After having bragged in 2012 that the Congressional sanctions caused Iran “a daily loss of $133 million and 1.2 million barrels of oil… [and] that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, and that we are prepared to use all options at our disposal to keep the world free from this Iranian threat.” she has swallowed the Obama “let’s trust Iran” policy hook, line and sinker.
Wasserman Schultz is ignoring official Iranian statements that make it clear it signed the agreement to buy time.
For example, the interim agreement would prohibit Iran from adding more centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facilities.
So how did Iran follow up? Well, at least it is honest, to wit:
“We have two types of second-generation centrifuges. We also have future generations [of centrifuges] which are going through their tests,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said less than two weeks ago.
Also last December, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Arak reactor in Iran that is designed to use plutonium, which could be used to construct a bomb, is “frozen stone cold, where it is” and “we’re actually going to have the plans for the site delivered to us.”
Salehi announced a week later that Iran’s heavy water installations Arak will continue its work with full power.
If Wasserman Schultz still believes that Iran has turned over a new leaf and no longer has “nefarious ambitions,” all she has to do is look at Lebanon and Syria.
Hezbollah, now up its neck in Syria and working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is smuggling anti-ship missiles from Syria piece by piece after previous attempts to smuggle them into Lebanon were ruined by Israeli intelligence, followed up by Israeli aerial strikes on the weapons.
So Iran really does not need a nuclear bomb if it can simply use Hezbollah to blow Israel off the map.
Wasserman Schultz may be the woman who saves President Obama from having to veto the sanctions bill, which already has the support of 50 senators, twice as many as when the bill was introduced last month, and one short of a majority.
The bill is aimed at putting teeth into the interim agreement by declaring that Iran must abide by it rather than simply biding time until a final agreement is reached, if that ever happens.
If not, then new sanctions would go into place.
It appears that the only thing that might change Wassermann Schultz’s new go-soft-on Iran position is a severe backlash from her constituents, who are more worried about the Iranian nuclear threat against Israel – and the United States – than she is.