Iran: Citing Iran deal, US Republicans criticize Biden’s Israel nominee Lew

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, was anticipated in the end to win US Senate affirmation, regardless of opposition from Republicans at his affirmation listening to on Wednesday tied to his previous involvement in negotiations with Iran.
Biden’s fellow Democrats have been speeding to verify Lew rapidly, saying they need to supply Israel staunch help within the aftermath of the Oct. 7 assault on Israeli villages and navy bases by Gaza-based Palestinian Hamas gunmen who killed 1,400 individuals and took about 200 hostages.
Washington has not had an envoy to Israel since July, when Tom Nides left the publish. Rising concern over the battle between Israel and Hamas has drawn consideration to the emptiness. Lew was nominated in September.
Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee listening to questioned Lew a few 2015 Iran nuclear deal sealed throughout his time in former Democratic President Barack Obama’s cupboard.
The listening to passed off as Biden visited Israel.
Democrats pressured the necessary of getting Lew in place rapidly, together with so he might assist free Individuals believed to be among the many Hamas hostages however Republican opposition might make that troublesome.
“I’m dedicated to getting you in place as quickly as attainable,” stated the committee chairman, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin. He scheduled a enterprise assembly for subsequent week for a committee vote on the nomination.
Safety was heightened across the US Capitol advanced, because it has been repeatedly since Oct. 7. The listening to was interrupted 3 times by shouting protesters.
Lew will be confirmed even when Republicans unite towards him. Biden’s fellow Democrats maintain a slim majority within the committee and full Senate.
Senator Jim Risch, the committee’s high Republican, stated he agreed Israel wanted an envoy rapidly, but it surely should be the suitable individual. He stated he had “reservations” about Lew, citing the nuclear settlement and accusing the previous Treasury secretary of “backhanded help” for Iran.
Republicans – and a few Democrats – objected to the worldwide nuclear pact, by which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program in alternate for sanctions reduction. Republican former President Donald Trump, who took workplace in 2017, pulled Washington out of the pact in 2018.
Lew pressured repeatedly his intention to be powerful on Iran, rejecting accusations he had acted inappropriately. “I need to be clear: Iran is a menace to regional stability and to Israel’s existence. If confirmed, I’ll uphold President Biden’s dedication to disclaim Iran a nuclear weapon and warning to anybody within the area to anybody who’s pondering of taking benefit of the present disaster: Do not,” he stated.
He stated he didn’t consider the Biden administration ought to search to reopen the nuclear pact. “I consider deeply that an settlement to not have nuclear weapons could be an excellent factor however this isn’t the second,” he stated.
Lew stated the violence mustn’t derail talks between Israel, Saudi Arabia and america looking for to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The shock Oct. 7 assault prompted fierce Israeli retaliation towards the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Well being authorities in Gaza stated not less than 3,000 individuals had been killed in Israel’s bombardment, even earlier than tons of of Palestinians perished on Tuesday in a blast at a Gaza hospital.
Some Republicans blamed Biden’s Democratic administration’s dealings with Iran, particularly the discharge of $6 billion of Iranian belongings in a prisoner swap deal, for the assault by Hamas. Administration officers say Iran has not had entry to that cash and will solely use it for humanitarian functions accepted by america.
A funds skilled, Lew served as chief of workers for Obama earlier than being confirmed as Treasury secretary in February 2013 by 71-26 within the 100-member Senate, with help from each Republicans and Democrats.
Noting that he’s an observant Jew, Lew expressed grief about Oct. 7. “I’ve by no means seen in my lifetime human beings deal with different human beings head to head, eyeball to eyeball, the best way Jews have been slaughtered as a result of they have been Jews.” he stated.

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