Below are the amendments that are pending for this morning's markup in the Senate Banking Committee of S. 269, “The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015”, along with very brief analysis of what each would do. Taken as a whole, the goal of these amendments appears to be to demonstrate that the base text – which is the subject of serious controversy – could be a lot worse. Which of course is true, but does not change the fact that the base text itself remains problematic, and moving ahead with it at this time directly threatens the ongoing talks with Iran over its nuclear program.
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APN publishes the Legislative Round-Up -- the most comprehensive resource available anywhere on Middle East-related developments on Capitol Hill -- every Friday when Congress is in session. APN also hosts policy briefings on Capitol Hill and brings experts to meet with policy makers to maintain a steady flow of balanced information from the region.
Last week, in an appearance with British Prime Minister Cameron, President Obama laid out -- in the clearest language yet -- the case against Congress pursuing new Iran sanctions at this time. APN wholly concurs with the President's analysis and observations, highlighted below (underlining/bold added by APN).
1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Momentum Picking Up for New Iran Sanctions
3. APN on Kirk-Menendez: Support Iran Diplomacy, Oppose New Iran Sanctions
4. Palestinian Aid in the Crosshairs
6. Members on the Record
[NOTE: SEE SECTION 2 FOR ANALYSIS OF NEWER VERSION OF DRAFT KIRK-MENENDEZ BILL, CIRCULATING AS OF THIS AFTERNOON]
As anybody who follows Israeli-Palestinian issues knows, on December 31, 2014, after the UN Security Council rejected a Jordanian-backed resolution that would have imposed terms of reference and a timeline for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian President Abbas did something – not everyone seems clear what – in the international arena. This Q&A looks at what Abbas actually did and did not do, and what U.S. law says about those actions.