Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes amendments made by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to temper a problematic Iran-war resolution. The amendments to Senate Resolution 65 were adopted today at an SFRC "mark-up" meeting on Capitol Hill.
APN welcomes both the mark-up of the resolution -- similar resolutions are often brought directly to the Senate floor for a vote, without any committee consideration - and the changes made to the measure.
If passed in its original form, the resolution could have become a "backdoor to war" with Iran, giving a green light for Israeli military action against Iran, which would almost certainly compel the U.S. to join the fight.
APN last month asked its activists to contact their senators and urge them to demand a serious deliberation process, including committee consideration during which concerns about S. Res. 65 could be addressed through amendments. This afternoon, SFRC met to deal with S. Res. 65. During the mark-up, the SFRC amended S. Res. 65 to close the "back door to war" possibility.
The new language still articulates support for Israel if it takes military action in self-defense against Iran, but qualifies this support in several important ways:
* It refers to "legitimate" self-defense, making clear that the U.S. will judge what is and is not genuinely an act of self-defense.
* It explicitly narrows the scope of what would qualify as a legitimate act of self-defense to one taken against "Iran's nuclear weapons program," as opposed to any Iranian targets.
* It makes clear that support for Israel in such a case must be in accordance with U.S. law, including constitutional requirements for Congressional authorization of use of force before committing the U.S. to any military action.
SFRC leaders - in particular Senator Corker (R-TN), who introduced the amendment, and Senator Menendez (D-NJ), who as chairman of the SFRC was instrumental in getting this language adopted - deserve credit for dealing seriously and substantively with our reasonable objections to S. Res. 65.