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Senate Confirms Iran Nuclear Deal Architect Jack Lew For Ambassador To Israel Despite GOP Criticism

  The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Iran Nuclear Deal architect   Jack Lew   for ambassador to Israel with all Democrats voting in Le...

 The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Iran Nuclear Deal architect Jack Lew for ambassador to Israel with all Democrats voting in Lew’s favor. 

The vast majority of Senate Republicans voiced their disfavor at the U.S. government making Lew ambassador to Israel in the wake of Iran-backed Hamas terrorists’ attack on Israel, but the opposing Republicans fell short of stopping Lew’s confirmation in the Democrat-controlled Senate, which voted 53-43 to confirm him. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Democrats in voting to confirm Lew. 

Lew, the former Treasury secretary, played a key role in the development of the Iran Nuclear Deal agreed upon in 2015 when Biden was vice president. He was also questioned in 2016 after he played a role in the Obama administration’s handout of $400 million in cash to Tehran.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the vote for Lew is “one of the most important and consequential nomination votes the Senate has taken in a long time,” adding that it would “help send a powerful message of support to Israel.”

Many Republicans, led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Eric Scmitt (R-MO) slammed the Biden administration for nominating an ambassador to Israel whose support for the country has been questioned. 

“Biden’s pick to be the Ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew orchestrated and implemented the Iran nuclear deal,” Cruz said last week. “The billions from that deal helped fund the Hamas death squads that murdered … Israelis and Americans. It would be nice if we had an ambassador that would support Israel.”

Cotton called Lew an “Iran sympathizer,” saying the former chief of staff for President Barack Obama had not demonstrated his commitment to defending Israel. 

“America needs a reliable ambassador to Israel with a record of defending the Jewish State. Jack Lew, an Iranian sympathizer, would be the opposite,” said Cotton. 


During his confirmation hearing, Lew attempted to clarify that “Iran is a threat to regional stability and to Israel’s existence.” The former Treasury secretary added that while he believes a nuclear agreement with Iran “would be a good thing,” now is not the time to pursue such an agreement. Lew called Iran “an evil, malign government that funds its evil and malign activities.”

The Iran Nuclear Deal gave Iran access to over $100 billion in oil revenues that were previously frozen by U.S. sanctions. The deal also allowed Iran to produce an unlimited amount of enriched uranium after 2031 and lifted restrictions on energy sales. Then, the Obama administration secretly sent a planeload of $400 million in cash directly to Tehran, which Lew helped organize.

Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018. Trump had sought to restrict Iran’s missile program and push the Tehran regime to sever its ties to terrorism, but Iran refused to negotiate. Shortly after Biden won back the White House for Democrats, however, the administration began working out a new Iran Nuclear Deal, and last month Biden unfroze $6 billion for Iran in a prisoner exchange deal.

A 2018 report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that Lew’s Treasury Department, “at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system.” U.S. officials later stated in congressional testimony that “Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report said.

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