This measure states that the U.S. has a vital interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. It cites statements by Iranian leaders pledging to wipe Israel off the map and IAEA documents, which are used to prove that those same leaders are pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
This resolution was a major focus for AIPAC lobbyists. On 9/23/12, after the Senate passed the measure, AIPAC put out a press release stating that ‘AIPAC applauds the Senate for rejecting a policy of containment of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability and calling for an increase in sanctions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.’ In contrast, the lobbying group J Street put out (5/1/12) a policy paper on the subject that stated, ‘While reports of progress in Iranian nuclear weapons programs are . . . deeply troubling, . . . American policy going forward should use stronger sanctions and continued diplomacy to pose a stark choice for the Iranian Government. It can continue on its present path and face ever deeper international isolation or change its behavior, in particular by fulfilling its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.’
Following this bill’s introduction, 44 senators signed a letter to Pres. Obama allowing that ‘the window for diplomacy is closing’ and that he should make clear his willingness to choose a ‘credible military option.’
83 cosponsors (42R, 40D, 1I)
See also: identical measures S.A. 2346 to S. 3240 of 5/24/12 and S.A. 2365 to S. 3414 of 7/19/12, and similar measures S. Res. 380 of 2/16/12 and H. Res. 568 of 3/1/12 for more on Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.
Last major action: 9/25/12 referred to House Cmte. on Foreign Affairs (9/21/12 passed in Senate 90–1).