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UANI in the News

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 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."

Jun 24 2015
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"As talks on an Iran nuclear deal enter the final stretch, U.S. lawmakers are sharpening warnings against a 'weak' agreement and laying down red lines that, if crossed, could prompt Congress to trip up a carefully crafted international pact. Several influential lawmakers said they do not want to see any sanctions lifted before Tehran begins complying with a deal, and want a tough verification regime in which inspectors could visit Iranian facilities anytime and anywhere. They also want Tehran to reveal past military dimensions of its nuclear program, particularly after Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to soften the U.S. stance last week by saying Iran would not be pressed on this point. 'I have become more and more concerned with the direction of these negotiations and the potential red lines that may be crossed,' Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a hearing on Wednesday... AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobby, has been campaigning hard in Congress on its concerns that any agreement could be 'fundamentally flawed.' ... Several other groups, including United Against a Nuclear Iran, and the American Security Initiative, founded by three ex-senators, are spending millions of dollars on advertising campaigns urging lawmakers to take a hard line."

Jun 24 2015

"In the U.S., a group called Secure America Now is pressing a digital campaign against a deal -- including the website -- directed at key lawmakers, such as New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer... Other anti-deal groups, such as the Israel Project, the Foreign Policy Initiative and United Against Nuclear Iran, also have been increasing their activities heading toward the June 30 deadline."

Jun 23 2015

"Millions of dollars worth of ads will hit the airwaves this week in an effort to pressure senators to take a hard line against President Barack Obama’s nascent nuclear deal with Iran — with a June 30 deadline to wrap up the agreement just a week away... A multimillion dollar campaign from United Against Nuclear Iran also has been launched in the hopes of pressuring senators to take a skeptical view of the nuclear negotiations."

Jun 22 2015
Wall Street Journal
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"The Obama administration is coming under increasing pressure to take a hard line with Iran on several key elements of a nuclear deal that remain in flux as negotiators work to complete an agreement by the end of the month. The group United Against Nuclear Iran is launching a new ad campaign on Tuesday warning U.S. negotiators not to compromise on five specific terms, including access to Iran’s military sites and lifting economic sanctions over time based on Tehran’s compliance with an agreement. 'The remaining issues to be discussed are incredibly key and important and impactful,' said Mark Wallace, the group’s CEO, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. The goal, Mr. Wallace said, is to convince U.S. negotiators that conceding on such points 'could have catastrophic consequences.' The effort, which the group says will cost millions of dollars, is to include television spots and full-page ads in major newspapers that run through the duration of talks. The campaign echoes concerns expressed in recent days by U.S. lawmakers... One of UANI’s new television ads argues: 'America can’t risk more concessions.' 'This is a national security issue that is of generational importance,' Mr. Wallace said. He said the group plans to continue its effort until 'the final endgame of negotiations.' 'We will be up and on the air and advocating on a multitiered campaign—from television to news print to digital to social media,' he said. 'We are in this for the long haul.'"

Jun 04 2015
USA Today

"Visiting business delegations are streaming into Iran with an eye on lucrative new deals before a June 30 deadline for a sanctions-lifting nuclear agreement with six world powers. Tehran saw 'an explosion' of foreign business delegations in the weeks after the framework for a nuclear accord was announced in March. 'Everyone is now waiting for the end of Round 2 in June,' said Heinz-Joachim Heise, a Switzerland-based management recruiter who opened an office in Tehran last summer. Multinational corporations, mostly from Europe and Asia, that did business in Iran before U.S. and international sanctions forced them out have started making plans to return. They include many well-known brands, such as German auto manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, French oil giant Total and U.S. electronics manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, according to news accounts... Some U.S. advocacy groups, such as United Against a Nuclear Iran, seek to publicize and shame Western companies from participating in Iran-oriented business forums. David Ibsen, the group's executive director, foresees an alternative to Khajehpour's argument that trade will moderate Iran's political behavior. He worries the government will use its economic wealth to subsidize foreign militant groups and continue suppressing freedom at home. 'If we can get guarantees they won't use additional funds to fund Hezbollah, the Basij domestic militias to increase domestic surveillance, internal police forces, Houthi rebels and other proxies, that would be great,' Ibsen said. 'It would be quite a departure from the past 30 years.'"