With this resolution, the Senate supported the full implementation of existing U.S. and international sanctions on Iran and urged the president to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation. The most noteworthy section of the resolution states that if the government of Israel is compelled to take military action in ‘legitimate self-defense’ against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the U.S. government ‘should stand with Israel’ and provide support ‘in accordance with United States law.’
This resolution contains neither an authorization to use force nor a declaration of war, something made explicitly clear in the resolution’s text.
This resolution was a major part of AIPAC’s lobbying effort both before and during the AIPAC conference in 3/2013.
In the initial version of the resolution, the self-defense provision had stronger wording. It urged that the U.S. government should ‘stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support’ if Israel was compelled to take military action. That clause was struck out in a cmte. markup session after provoking opposition from anti-war groups.
On the day of the unanimous vote in the Senate (5/22/13), Sen. Graham discussed the resolution as if it still contained the original language. He summarized its thrust, ‘if Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the U.S. will stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, economic support in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.’ In phrasing the bill’s purpose in this way, he removed the legal qualifications and reverted to the mechanical, cause-effect wording that sparked the controversy in the first place.
91 cosponsors (47D, 43R, 1I).
Last major action: 5/22/13 agreed to in Senate by yea-nay vote, 99–0.