WASHINGTON (JTA) – AIPAC director Howard Kohr called on activists to refocus lawmakers on Iran.
Kohr, delivering an address Monday to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee that traditionally outlines the lobby’s agenda, said the Arab Spring had diverted the international community’s attention from isolating Iran.
"In January and February we had momentum when it came to Iran," he said. "Then the Arab demonstrations began and the focus shifted. Nations everywhere began dealing with the very legitimate challenges and problems that the turmoil presented, and suddenly the world was not talking about Iran with the same sense of clarity and purpose."
The policy conference, which has drawn a record attendance of more than 10,000, culminates Tuesday in a lobbying day. Key items on the agenda include bills in Congress aimed at tightening sanctions on Iran.
"It falls to us," Kohr said. "We must refocus our policymakers’ attention on what Iran is doing in this time of turmoil: its efforts to cultivate fifth columns in neighboring nations to advance Iranian ends; its use of terror by proxy; its relentless march toward a nuclear weapon."