An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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In this week’s Action Update we focus on Iran and West Virginia. These two places are both literally and figuratively pretty far apart, but this week the Islamic Republic and the Mountain State sit at the nexus of American foreign policy.

Let Them Eat… Missiles?

Despite the facts that the Iranian economy remains on life support, the country was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the country’s youth unemployment rate is at a whopping 27%, Iran’s leaders have determined that the best use of state funds is to build an underground missile facility capable of housing not just cruise but also ballistic missiles. 

The subterranean weapons facility, dubbed “missile city,” is being run by none other than Iran’s ruthless and brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). As a reminder, the IRGC is Iran’s primary vehicle for supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and generally spreading terror and destruction throughout the Middle East. It should come as no surprise then that the IRGC is designated by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  But according to one person up for a fairly important job in the Pentagon, this designation was an error.

Newsflash: Kahl Got It Wrong (Again)
That’s right sports fans, the individual of whom we speak is none other than President Biden’s nominee to serve as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl. In truth, Kahl’s nomination has not been going smoothly and this week was not a good one for Kahl’s supporters. Enter West Virginia.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee was scheduled to vote on the nomination, but they postponed that vote indefinitely. The only reason to do so is if the Chairman is short votes, and thanks to thousands of CUFI members contacting West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Kahl’s nomination is on the ropes.

Sen. Manchin, who is the swing vote, so to speak, on the committee, has not yet made up his mind on the nominee. And we believe that this is in part due to the emails and phone calls that have been flooding Sen. Manchin’s office. We also believe that Sen. Manchin, who opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and supported the aforementioned designation of the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, understands the dangers of having someone as fringe and misguided as Colin Kahl sitting in the top policy job at the Pentagon.

West Virginia Fighting on Two Fronts
In addition to the effort to defeat the Kahl nomination, this week West Virginia has also been on the frontline of the effort to fight the BDS movement as well. This past week, CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker traveled there to testify before the House Judiciary committee in support of CUFI-backed anti-BDS legislation in West Virginia. The bill advanced through the committee with overwhelming support and now heads to the House floor.

We are deeply grateful to Assistant Majority Leader Kayla Kessinger for not just leading the anti-BDS effort in the state, but also for authoring a letter to Sen. Manchin asking him to oppose the Kahl nomination. That letter, which garnered 70 signatures from members of the West Virginia House of Representatives, further indicates the importance of this issue to Sen. Manchin’s constituents.

Circumstance has led to West Virginia playing a very prominent role in support of our policy agenda this week, and their efforts show the extent to which a large committed group of American voters can have an impact. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this week’s Update, and please keep reading, because next week your state could very well be the next place where the battle is fought.


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