Senate

New group backed by AIPAC targets deal

A new group backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is launching a multimillion-dollar nationwide campaign Friday to oppose President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

The political advocacy group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, is classified under section 501(c)4 of the tax code, allowing it to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money with minimal public disclosure.

Patrick Dorton, its spokesman, said the national television and digital advertising campaign will "educate the public about the dangers of the proposed Iran deal."

Television ads targeting Democratic and Republican voters will run in most states, airing nationally and in local market

The group's advisory committee includes several former Democratic senators: Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Mark Begich of Alaska. Former Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) also sits on the board.

"We think Democrats should be concerned because the deal increases the chances of war, will spur a nuclear arms race and rewards an Iran with a horrific human rights record," Dorton added.

AIPAC has come out strongly against the agreement, arguing it falls well short of the conditions lawmakers laid out earlier this year.

The group contends the accord does not achieve "anytime, anywhere" inspections, fails to clearly specify to what extent Iran must reveal past efforts to develop nuclear weapons and provides immediate, instead of gradual, sanctions relief.

"We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon," AIPAC said in a statement.

Another pro-Israel advocacy group, J Street, announced Thursday it will launch a television campaign "highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran's nuclear and military sites under the agreement," according to a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It's part of a multimillion dollar advertising campaign that will pressure lawmakers over the next two months, before an expected vote in the Senate on a resolution disapproving of the deal.

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