Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe
September 12, 2009
[efoods]As nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West continue to move slowly, U.S. President Barack Obama is coming under growing pressure from what appears to be a concerted lobbying and media campaign urging him to act more aggressively to stop Iran’s nuclear programme.
Obama has given Tehran an end-of-September deadline to respond substantively to his offer of diplomatic engagement. But already hawks in the U.S. – backed by hardline pro-Israel organisations – have pressed him to quickly impose “crippling” economic sanctions against Tehran, and some are arguing that he should make preparations for a military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
The pressure campaign kicked off in earnest this week. On Thursday, hundreds of leaders and activists from the U.S. Jewish community descended on Washington to lobby for harsher sanctions, while widely-publicised media reports suggested that Iran is already nearing the verge of a nuclear capability.
Leaders from Jewish groups came for a national “Advocacy Day on Iran”, during which they met with key Congressional figures.