Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, was interviewed by Jessica Desvarieux on the Real News about domestic opposition to a deal with Iran:
Wilkerson: All Iran has to do is limit its enrichment to what would be normally done under a civilian program, under probably at the outset and for a couple of years (maybe five) very rigorous inspection and immediate access to anywhere by the IAEA until Iran has substantiated to the international community that its program is purely civilian, in exchange for substantial sanctions relief. The outlines of a deal, indeed, the specifics of a deal have been there for some time.
DESVARIEUX: And who would be opposed to a deal like that? And why?
WILKERSON: First and foremost, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his extremely right-wing government in Tel Aviv. If you’ve seen what they’ve laid down as their deal parameters, if you will, it leads off with no enrichment at all, that is to say, they do not want any nuclear program whatsoever in Iran. And then you come to this country and you find Netanyahu’s allies in people like Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham from my home state, and others who are bordering on being traitors, in my view, because they won’t let this president have room to achieve a diplomatic solution. They’re all angry now that he didn’t bomb Syria, that he in fact, in conjunction with Putin, came up with a deal that may be extremely challenging to implement. But nonetheless it’s kept the bombs from dropping, which is a good thing. And so they’re moving on to Iran, with Graham even saying he’s going to move for legislation to authorize the use of military force against Iran in the next four to five months. So these people are bordering on being traitors. …
Desvarieux: [D]uring [Chuck Hagel’s] confirmation hearing, you heard a lot about his remarks in the past about how the GOP and Congress actually really is under the intimidation–or being intimidated, I should say, by AIPAC and other lobbying groups there on the Hill who are very pro-Israeli politics and things of that nature. Do you feel like them coming out with these types of remarks and proposed legislation is just really feeding to that whole argument?
WILKERSON: Absolutely. When Chuck Hagel was being asked by Senator Graham during his confirmation hearing to cite one time, one time that Israel had been influential on U.S. policy, all Senator Hagel had to say was “You, now, Mr. Graham”. That’s all he had to say. Of course, he could have cited Ronald Reagan’s inability to sell F-15s to Saudi Arabia, to give AWACS to Saudi Arabia, and so forth, all of which AIPAC and the Jewish lobby in this country stopped. So Israel has an enormous impact on U.S. foreign policy, but it’s beginning to be so detrimental to U.S. foreign and security policy that people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, with their hands out to the Jewish lobby for more donations to their PACs and so forth, just simply need to shut up and go back into the dark shadows from whence they emerged.