The conservative Emergency Committee for Israel is out with a new ad:
It is not exactly clear whether the group is saying that a military strike is now required or whether tougher oil sanctions or other, less dramatic military action (e.g., a blockade) would suffice.
That said, the debate should get going, preferably in advance of the next round of meaningless talks with the Iranians. How can we tell if sanctions have failed? What is left to do?
The president, I suspect, is vamping, hoping to delay action and just get through the election. (True, the Israelis may act in the meantime.) But Congress need not remain silent. Where is the conference committee for the sanctions bill?
On Wednesday Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) put out a memo, the summary of which states:
On May 21, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed its version of a new Iran sanctions bill, laying the groundwork for conference negotiations with the House, which passed its own Iran sanctions bill late last year. Since then, a second round of P5+1 talks with Iran failed, negotiations with Iran over access to a suspected military site broke down, an Iranian-linked assassination plot targeting U.S. officials was revealed, Iranian leaders defended their “right” to enrich uranium to 20 percent, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported Iran is accelerating its production of low enriched uranium at 3.5 percent, and the human rights situation in Iran continued to deteriorate. Therefore, unless during talks in Moscow next week Iran agrees to 1) halt all uranium enrichment at all levels, 2) remove all material that has been enriched from Iran, and 3) dismantle the regime’s underground nuclear bunker in Qom, the House and Senate should immediately move forward with negotiations over a final Iran sanctions law — incorporating new, tough and bipartisan sanctions proposals — that can be sent to the President’s desk before the August recess.
That is at least a start. Sitting mutely by on the sidelines while the centrifuges keep spinning in Iran is a dereliction of duty by Congress. Unlike President Obama, however, I think there are lawmakers willing to step up to the plate. History will judge them well.