New TV ads tie Iran deal critics to Iraq War 'hawks'

Progressive group Americans United for Change is launching a major TV ad campaign Thursday warning that critics of the Iran nuclear deal are the same "war hawks" who led the nation into the Iraq War.

The half-a-million-dollar campaign will target voters in Los Angeles; Florida's Miami and West Palm Beach; Baltimore; Boston; New York City; Providence, R.I.; and Washington, D.C.

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The ad features former President George W. Bush and top officials from his administration, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

"They're back. The same people that rushed us into war in Iraq want to sink the new agreement that would help stop war with Iran," the ad says.

"The agreement — between America, five other world powers, and Iran — would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," it continues.

"Experts say the deal has the toughest restrictions of any weapons agreement in history ... but facts didn’t matter to the war hawks then, and they don’t matter now. They were wrong about Iraq — now they’re wrong about Iran. They fooled us once. Don't let them fool us again."

The ad is airing just weeks before Congress will vote on the Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by the administration and five other nations with Tehran.

The deal would lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Republicans and some Democrats say the deal does not go far enough, but the administration argues there's no better alternative.

So far, 26 Senate Democrats have lined up behind the deal out of the 34 needed to sustain a presidential veto of any measure to block it.

If Congress passes a resolution of disapproval, President Obama has vowed to veto it. Congress would then need two-thirds of the House and Senate to override him and save the deal.

So far, only two Senate Democrats oppose the deal. Republicans need four more Democrats to pass the resolution in the upper chamber.

Asked whether Americans United for Change was seeking to prevent a resolution of disapproval or was focused on sustaining a veto, spokesman Jeremy Funk told The Hill, "We're focused on the House and Senate — every vote we can get — we'll leave it at that."