Some members of the United States Congress are working hard to short-circuit President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Many legislators, particularly Republicans, have opposed the talks from the beginning—with some advocating a military attack on Iran and others apparently believing that sanctions will compel Tehran to give up its nuclear aspirations.
With the great Republican gains in the 2014 midterm elections, this group expanded and moved beyond simply critiquing Obama’s policy. Congressional opponents of a deal with Iran are attempting to pass a new slate of sanctions deliberately designed to torpedo the negotiation process. In a stunning breach of tradition, House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress specifically to challenge Obama’s negotiations with Tehran.
This sparked outrage, and not only from Democrats. Even Fox News commentators Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith, who normally back Republicans and oppose anything Obama favors, angrily slammed this political ploy. “Netanyahu is using the Republican Congress for a photo-op for his election campaign and the Republicans are using Bibi for their campaign against Obama,” added Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Special Middle East Envoy.