Markey, Shaheen among top recipients of Iranian-American PAC money

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Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, who supports the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran, tops the list of candidates supported by “the Iran lobby,” according to Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Horowitz Freedom Center.

According to Shillman, the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) “maxed out” their contributions to Markey’s senate campaign, and over the years IAPAC supporters also have contributed generously to Markey, a long-time congressman from Massachusetts who is now the Bay State’s junior senator.

IAPAC’s mission statement asserts that it was formed for the purpose of advancing the domestic interests of Iranian Americans, who are “seeking to establish their rightful place in the American political system,” not to advance any particular position with respect to the U.S. relationship with Iran.

In a statement released on Aug. 19, Markey admitted that, “Iran has given us good reason to be skeptical of its intentions. It is a state sponsor of terrorism, a destabilizing force in the Middle East, and with nuclear weapons capabilities Iran would present an existential threat to Israel. Iran has misled us in the past when it comes to their nuclear program.” Nevertheless, Markey stated that he would support the deal because “prevention of nuclear war is one of the most important issues facing the world today.”

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is the third largest recipient of IAPAC money. Shaheen was an early supporter of the Iran deal. In a statement released on Aug. 6, Shaheen reiterated her belief that the Iran deal offers “the best available option we have for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

IAPAC and its supporters were also key financial backers of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John F. Kerry when they represented Delaware and Massachusetts, respectively, in the U.S. Senate.

During his 2004 run for the White House, Kerry was criticized for receiving campaign cash from alleged supporters of the Islamic regime.

An October 2004 Washington Times column by Kenneth Timmerman titled “Kerry’s Iran scandal” condemned the Kerry-Edwards campaign for accepting between $100,000-200,000 in donations raised by an Iranian immigrant and her husband who were members of IAPAC’s board and accused the Islamic Republic of seeking to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election.

[This article was compiled from staff and wire reports.]


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