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UANI in the News

Nov 15 2015
Associated Press
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"Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from investing in companies that do business in or with Iran, saying the measure would help blunt President Barack Obama's nuclear accord with that country... More than 1,000 corporations around the world do business in or with Iran, according to a database kept by United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit group working to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. About two dozen states have adopted legislation barring public entities from renewing or entering into contracts with companies operating in Iran or requiring them to divest themselves of holdings in such companies, according to UANI."

Sep 18 2015

"After Congress’s deadline to block Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran expired Thursday, Republicans are taking the fight to the states by vowing to preserve local sanctions. Thirty states and the District of Columbia restrict investments by pensions and public entities in companies doing business in the country, according to the group United Against Nuclear Iran. Fifteen Republican U.S. governors, including four presidential candidates, last week sent a letter to Obama saying they would fight to keep their constraints if the administration lifts its nuclear-related sanctions... Eleven states with Republican governors who signed the letter to Obama, including Florida, Indiana and New Jersey, have prohibited public entities from contracting with companies invested in certain Iranian sectors, according to United Against Nuclear Iran."

Aug 27 2015

"President Barack Obama’s almost certain to get the Iran nuclear deal — but whether he gets there by filibuster or sustained veto could make all the difference. A Democratic filibuster in the Senate would be a clear victory for the president, allowing Obama to say that for all the political noise there wasn’t enough actual opposition to the nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic to even get to a final vote... Opponents of the deal say forcing the president to veto the measure would send a message to Iran that enough members of Congress are ready to impose new sanctions on Tehran if it fails to follow the accord. Forcing the president to pull out his veto pen is 'important as a statement to Iran, and may make it more likely that Iran keep the promises about what it will not do,' said former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran and with his hand in two other opposition groups, though he refused to concede that Obama would be safe from an override vote. Lieberman, once a Senate Democrat himself, has been helping direct millions of dollars in opposition ads to swing Democrats’ home states and lobbying former colleagues hoping to seize some momentum against the deal."

Jun 30 2015
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
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"A spot aired on national television by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan group whose founders include former U.S. ambassadors and a former CIA director -- claims that concessions made by the United States in the negotiations go 'too far' and that 'America can't risk more concessions.' UANI announced last week the launch of 'a multimillion-dollar television, print, radio, digital, and grassroots campaign' that pushes Washington to take a harder line on key elements of the deal, including the inspections of nuclear sites, which have been publicly ruled out by Iranian leaders. The group said the campaign, which started on June 23, will continue throughout the negotiation process, including the time allotted to the U.S. Congress to weigh in on any final nuclear accord. Mark Wallace, UANI's CEO, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush, says Washington already made too many concessions to Iran under the so-called framework agreement reached in Geneva in April. He tells RFE/RL that 'further concessions' to Iran on critical issues regarding its nuclear program could lead to a 'catastrophically bad agreement.' 'We're trying to elevate the discourse to a level that is deserved for a foreign policy issue of such great consequences,' Wallace said. Wallace says his group is concerned that the tentative nuclear agreement will leave Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact and it would also allow the country to engage in research on advanced centrifuges."

Jun 29 2015
Al Monitor
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"Skeptics of the Obama administration’s nuclear talks with Iran are bringing maximum pressure to bear on negotiators ahead of the June 30 deadline for a deal. Key players both on and off Capitol Hill are raising their voices in the hopes of preventing what they say would be unacceptable concessions... United Against Nuclear Iran, under the presidency of former Obama administration arms control coordinator Gary Samore, for example has begun a multimillion TV and newspaper campaign ahead of the deadline. The nonprofit advocacy group is critical of past concessions on uranium enrichment and the easing of many restrictions after a decade but says it can get behind a final deal if it avoids further concessions.

"'The outstanding items could turn those concerns into real catastrophic consequences for our national security if they went the wrong way,' Mark Wallace, the group's CEO and an ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush, told Al-Monitor. 'That’s why you’re seeing us and others out there saying you can’t concede on inspections, you can’t concede on [possible military dimensions of past nuclear research], you can’t give away these last remaining items because it’s just too dangerous.' Wallace said the goal of the campaign was to provide a 'backstop' for negotiators who might be too eager to reach a successful deal after more than two years of negotiations. 'As a former diplomat I feel like I have the moral authority to say that sometimes diplomats get carried away in the pursuit of a deal rather than always focus on the merits of a deal,' Wallace said. 'And our role is to remind them that the merits count here.'

"As part of that effort, Samore was one of four former Obama administration advisers on Iran issues who signed an open letter last week urging negotiators to take a firm stance on inspections and other issues."

Jun 28 2015
New York Times
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"The last days of talks are often the hardest. Gary Samore, Mr. Obama’s former adviser on weapons of mass destruction and is the president of a group called United Against a Nuclear Iran, offered some advice: 'Don’t make any more concessions to get a deal in early July. They need a deal more than we do.'"

Jun 25 2015
Agence France-Presse
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"Down-to-the-wire talks in Vienna this week will decide whether the United States can reach a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but a fierce lobbying battle in Washington may decide if it survives. For the last two years, those for and against an agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program have traded newspaper opinion pieces, rolled out dueling advocacy campaigns and lobbied 'influencers' on the think tank circuit. But, days before the June 30 negotiating deadline, the White House's political allies and its foes are significantly dialing up efforts to sell or sink the deal. United Against Nuclear Iran -- led by former president George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, Mark Wallace -- announced Tuesday it will plough vast resources into influencing the debate. 'We announced a national advocacy campaign with national television ads, print, multi-tiered social media and digital,' Wallace told AFP. 'We have a multi-million-dollar budget and we are in it for the long haul. Money continues to pour in.' ... Gary Samore, who for four years was Obama's principal advisor on arms control, believes the United States and its five negotiating allies should insist on tougher terms. He has joined United Against Nuclear Iran in demanding unbridled international access to military facilities, interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists and other concessions that Tehran is highly unlikely to accept. 'I think P5+1 should insist that Iran meet our demands on the remaining issues to ensure an acceptable deal,' he told AFP."

Jun 25 2015
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"A group of prominent American security advisers, including five with ties to President Barack Obama's first term, warned on Wednesday that a deal on curbing Iran's nuclear program was at risk of failing to provide adequate safeguards. In an open letter, the group of former U.S. officials and foreign policy experts cautioned that an Iran nuclear deal would 'fall short of meeting the administration's own standard of a 'good' agreement' unless it included a tougher line on United Nations nuclear inspections and conditions for sanctions relief. The release of the letter, which was signed by Dennis Ross, an adviser on Iran and the Middle East in Obama's first term, comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to fly to Vienna on Friday to join the talks... 'Most of us would have preferred a stronger agreement,' the letter released by the Washington Institute said. 'The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability. It will not require the dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. It will, however, reduce that infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years.' In addition to Ross, the letter was signed by David Petraeus, former CIA director and U.S. commander in Iraq, Robert Einhorn, a former member of the U.S. negotiating team with Iran, retired U.S. General James Cartwright and Gary Samore, an Obama adviser on nuclear policy turned president of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran."

Jun 25 2015
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"A massive campaign started Wednesday in the US against the upcoming nuclear agreement with Iran... About a week before the signing of the deal, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has launched a last minute cross-media campaign, with a multimillion-dollar budget, aimed at pressuring the US government to take a hard line with the Iranians on a number of key issues relating to the agreement... The campaign is warning negotiators to not compromise on five main issues, the leading one being the inspection of Iranian military bases within a full transparent framework with the West and imposing economic sanctions in accordance with Iran's compliance with the terms of the agreement. 'The remaining issues are key issues on which we can still have influence on' said former UN ambassador, Mark Wallace, chairman of UANI. 'Upon arrival of the final stretch to the agreement, there is mounting concern that the US will be under pressure and could make dangerous concessions to get an agreement signed,' said Gary Samore, President of UANI and President Barack Obama's former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction."

Jun 24 2015
New York Times
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"Five former members of President Obama’s inner circle of Iran advisers have written an open letter expressing concern that a pending accord to stem Iran’s nuclear program 'may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a 'good' agreement' and laying out a series of minimum requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final deal. Several of the senior officials said the letter was prompted by concern that Mr. Obama’s negotiators were headed toward concessions that would weaken international inspection of Iran’s facilities, back away from forcing Tehran to reveal its suspected past work on weapons, and allow Iranian research and development that would put it on a course to resuming intensive production of nuclear fuel as soon as the accord expires. The public nature of the announcement by some of Mr. Obama’s best-known former advisers, all of whom had central roles in the diplomatic, intelligence and military efforts to counter Iran’s program, adds to the challenge facing Secretary of State John Kerry as the negotiations head toward a deadline of next Tuesday... 'Most of us would have preferred a stronger agreement,' the letter begins, going on to assess the proposed accord as useful for delaying Iran’s program, but not a long-term solution to the problem of a nuclear Iran. 'The agreement will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability,' it continues. 'It will not require the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear enrichment infrastructure. It will however reduce that infrastructure for the next 10 to 15 years... The substance of the letter is less notable for what it says ... than for the influence of its signatories. Among them is Dennis B. Ross, a longtime Middle East negotiator who oversaw Iran policy at the White House during the first Obama term; David H. Petraeus, the former C.I.A. director who oversaw covert operations against Iran until he resigned two years ago; and Robert Einhorn, a longtime State Department proliferation expert who helped devise and enforce the sanctions against Iran. Also signing the letter were Gary Samore, Mr. Obama’s former chief adviser on nuclear policy who is now the president of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, and Gen. James E. Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an architect of Mr. Obama’s effort to build up military forces in the region."