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The New York Times editorial board has come a long way since its days of upholding the false dichotomy of sanctions versus war as the only options for US-Iran relations. It was less than two years ago that the Times published an editorial assessing the potential paths for addressing the US-Iran impasse—and completely neglected to mention diplomacy or negotiations.

But a Saturday editorial shows that the Times's vocabulary and outlook on the subject has since undergone a significant expansion:

If there is any hope for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran, President Obama needs Congress to support negotiations. But negotiations and compromise are largely anathema in Washington, with many lawmakers insisting that any deal with Iran would be unacceptable — a stance that would make military action by Israel and the United States far more likely.

Not only did the editorial board recognize that "the best way to avert military conflict is by negotiating a credible, verifiable agreement," but it also slammed two new AIPAC-sponsored Congressional initiatives aimed at sabotaging negotiations. On Sens. Lindsay Graham and Robert Menendez's "backdoor to war" resolution, S. Res. 65, the Times wrote that

The nonbinding resolution, promoted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, would not authorize any specific action, but it would increase political pressure on Mr. Obama by putting Congress on record as backing a military operation initiated by Israel at a time of Israel’s choosing. It could also hamper negotiations by playing into Iranian fears that America’s true intention is to promote regime change.
The Times also called out the House's new sanctions package, H.R. 850, saying it "would pile on tougher sanctions just as the two sides are trying to create trust after decades of hostility." Also noted is the negative effect further sanctions enforcement would have on US relations with some key allies, like Turkey, South Korea and India.

Yet, S. Res. 65 has 46 co-sponsors and the House bill has 102. Many of these co-sponsors are from the President's own party. They believe they need to be on these bills to appease AIPAC. That's why your representatives need to hear that you find their presence on these bills unacceptable. You can write to Congress opposing these bills here.

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