Ashton Carter’s appointment by US President Barack Obama to the defense secretary and his military threats against Iran is aimed at appealing to influential pro-Israel advocacy groups in the United States, an American activist says.
Carter has “had long connections to the Jewish Zionist lobby and the Jewish Zionist interest,” said Rodney Martin, a former US congressional staffer in Los Angeles, California.
“His saber-rattling and his intellectually dishonest statements regarding Iran seeking hegemony in the Middle East region are laughable,” Martin said in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.
“As far as hegemony in the Middle East, that’s been the West’s footprint and the Western method of operation, not Iran,” he added. “Iran has been a victim of attempted Western imperialism.”
The Pentagon chief sought to reassure lawmakers in Congress that a recently agreed Iran nuclear accord would not prevent the US from using military force against Iran if needed.
Testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter said the nuclear agreement places “no limitations on what the Department of Defense can and will do to pursue our defense strategy” in the Middle East region.
“Ash Carter’s saber-rattling is meant to appeal to the moderate to conservative Democrats who have strong Zionist Jewish ties and I think it’s more bluster than anything else,” Martin said.
The Obama administration has been trying to allay Republican lawmakers’ concerns over the conclusion of Iran nuclear talks.
According to the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran will be recognized by the United Nations as a nuclear power and will continue its uranium enrichment program.
But some restrictions will be placed on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Most Republicans oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran, but they need a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override a possible presidential veto, and to reach that threshold, Republicans need Democratic support.