A top foreign policy adviser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lobbied for businesses that did business with Iran. Maybe this is what Romney means when he says he’s going to do the “opposite” of President Barack Obama on Israel?
Former Representative Vin Weber (R-MN) is currently a partner of the lobbying firm Clark and Weinstock which has lobbied on behalf of Alcoa, Hyundai Motor Company, Ernst Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BNP Paribas, Zurich Financial Services, Ericsson, Nokia, and Panasonic. According to United Against Iran, “a not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons,” each of these companies had or has business with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Furthermore, according to OpenSecrets.org, a website dedicated to enlightening the public about how much money is spent on lobbying expenditures, Weber has lobbied on behalf of one or more of the above listed companies as recently as 2012.
This raises serious questions about Romney’s judgment when it comes to selecting his most trusted advisers. How committed can Romney be to stopping Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons if one of his top foreign policy advisers actually lobbied for companies that did business with Iran? What was Weber lobbying for?
Stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is one of the most pressing national security challenges facing us today and President Obama’s resolve is clear. As Obama continues to strengthen sanctions and keep all options on the table to stop Iran, Romney has a top “special adviser” who actually lobbied for companies that did business with Iran.
That is quite the opposite.
Worse, this is endemic of a party-wide challenge that the GOP seems to be having with regard to doing the right thing on Iran—whether to side with big business or strengthening Iran sanctions, as evidenced by the fifth party-line House GOP vote to side with former over the latter.
David A. Harris is the President and CEO of NJDC
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