Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been the target of vicious smears for criticizing AIPAC, but is now backing the Israel lobby group’s campaign against Iran. (Gage Skidmore)
Electronic Intifada.net By Ali Abunimah Wed., May 06, 2020
In an unexpected move, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has reportedly signed on to a letter circulated by AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobby group on Capitol Hill.
According to the publication Al-Monitor, the AIPAC-backed letter is aimed at “bolstering the Donald Trump administration’s efforts to extend the United Nations arms embargo on Iran.”
That embargo is set to expire in October as part of the 2015 multinational deal in which Iran placed limits on its civilian nuclear energy program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Instigated by American hardliners as well as Israel and its lobby, the Trump administration reneged on and withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018.
Since then, the US has ramped up sanctions on Iran, even amid the coronavirus pandemic, inflicting immense suffering on its population.
Among other impacts, the sanctions cause shortages of medicines, leading to avoidable deaths of sick people.
Rather than peacefully resolving international disputes, America’s ruling right wing, and Israel and its hardline lobby, want to see Iran destroyed by sanctions, and if necessary war, to stop the country becoming an effective check on American and Israeli regional dominance.
Under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel is escalating its direct attacks against Iran-allied forces in Syria.
In other words, Omar has signed on to a letter whose goal is to preserve and protect American empire and shore up its reactionary and undemocratic client states in the region.
The letter endorsed by Omar asserts that “Iran’s illicit transfers of weapons directly contribute to some of the most destabilizing threats to the United States and our partners in the Middle East such as Israel and the Gulf States.”
The letter also calls for sanctions against Esmail GhanniIr, the Iranian general who replaced Qasem Soleimani as head of the country’s Revolutionary Guard. General Soleimani was extrajudicially executed in an American air attack on his convoy in Iraq in January.
Soleimani was on a mission to promote a peaceful rapprochement among regional powers at the time he was killed, according to Iraq’s prime minister.