U.S. Aims to Reassure Israel on Iran Sanctions

Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire
See more stories about...
Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire
Dec. 5, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry on Thursday at­temp­ted to re­as­sure Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Net­an­yahu that key sanc­tions would re­main in force against Ir­an’s dis­puted nuc­le­ar pro­gram un­der an in­ter­im ac­cord ne­go­ti­ated by Tehran and six oth­er gov­ern­ments.

The agree­ment, un­veiled in Geneva last month, com­mits Ir­an to en­act a range of six-month curbs on atom­ic activ­it­ies that could sup­port de­vel­op­ment of a nuc­le­ar-arms cap­ab­il­ity. In ex­change, Wash­ing­ton and five oth­er gov­ern­ments are ex­pec­ted to grant the Middle East­ern na­tion up to $7 bil­lion in re­lief from pun­it­ive eco­nom­ic meas­ures, in part by lift­ing cer­tain re­stric­tions on Ir­a­ni­an pet­ro­leum rev­en­ues held in over­seas ac­counts.

After meet­ing privately with Kerry on Thursday, Net­an­yahu said he has “ex­pressed … con­cern since Geneva that the sanc­tions would be­gin to un­ravel” as a res­ult of the half-year agree­ment.

“Steps must be taken to pre­vent fur­ther erosions of sanc­tions,” the Is­raeli lead­er said, ac­cord­ing to a State De­part­ment tran­script of his com­ments.

Kerry countered that the most crit­ic­al Ir­an pen­al­ties are still in ef­fect. The Per­sian Gulf power is sub­ject to pun­it­ive lan­guage in four U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil res­ol­u­tions, as well as nu­mer­ous meas­ures en­acted by the United States, the European Uni­on and oth­ers.

“We say to any coun­try that con­tem­plates mov­ing ahead of sanc­tions, don’t, be­cause those sanc­tions will con­tin­ue to be en­forced,” the top U.S. dip­lo­mat said. “The fun­da­ment­al sanc­tions re­gime of oil and bank­ing re­mains ab­so­lutely in place.”

He ad­ded that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion would bol­ster its im­ple­ment­a­tion of ex­ist­ing sanc­tions through the Treas­ury De­part­ment and oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies.

Mean­while, Ir­an’s top oil of­fi­cial ap­peared to voiced hope on Wed­nes­day that his na­tion would ex­pand its trade with the United States and European powers, the Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted.

“We have no lim­it­a­tions for U.S. com­pan­ies,” Ir­a­ni­an Oil Min­is­ter Bi­jan Zan­ganeh said. He ad­ded that he would like to see his coun­try do busi­ness with the U.S. en­ergy gi­ants Chev­ron and Cono­co­Phil­lips.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

What We're Following See More »
JOINS BUSHES, MCCAIN
Romney to Skip Convention
31 minutes ago
THE LATEST

An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.

Source:
CALIFORNIA MAKES IT 21
FDA to Ban All Tobacco Sales to Minors
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a long-awaiting new rule, the Food and Drug Administration will ban sale of all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—to those under 18. The rule takes effect in 90 days. It's part of a larger package of regulations that "gives FDA authority to regulate—but not to ban—all tobacco products, from e-cigarettes to cigars and hookahs." Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Wednesday that would bump the legal age to buy all tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Source:
#NEVERTRUMP
Sen. Sasse Calls for a Third Candidate
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

Sen. Ben Sasse, the most prominent elected official to declare that he's #NeverTrump, wrote an open letter on Facebook to the "majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together." Calling to mind recent conversations at a Fremont, Neb., Walmart, the senator pitted the presumptive general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as such a "terrible choice" that there would be an appetite for another candidate to emerge. In a parenthetical aside to reporters, Sasse ruled himself out. "Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months," he wrote. "Therefore he/she likely can’t be an engaged parent with little kids." Meanwhile, his colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted in a private recording obtained by Politico that Trump hurts his reelection chances.

Source:
UTAH REPUBLICAN
Former Sen. Bob Bennett Dies at 82
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Former Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Bennett was defeated in a primary in 2010 by Tea Party–backed Mike Lee.

Source:
CLINTON HERSELF COULD TESTIFY LATER
Judge Approves Deposition of Clinton Aides
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, approved a joint proposal presented by Judicial Watch and the State Department to take the depositions of officials" involved in the setup and use of Hillary Clinton's private email server, "including Cheryl D. Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff, Huma Abedin, a senior adviser to Clinton, and Bryan Pagliano, a State Department employee who serviced and maintained the server." He said Clinton could be deposed later on, though that may not be necessary.

Source:
×