U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a bill threatening new sanctions on Iran, despite White House warnings that the legislation could disrupt nuclear talks.
The measure allows for a 180-day suspension of sanctions to facilitate diplomacy, plus additional time if the White House judges a final deal to be imminent. The legislation also includes a “sense of Congress” that the “government of Iran does not have an absolute or inherent right to enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and technologies,” despite Tehran’s past statements that it does maintain such a right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who sponsored the Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran Act with 23 of his colleagues, argued that the measure would raise pressure on Iran to fully relinquish atomic activities that could support a future capacity to produce nuclear weapons.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful, and has warned that any new sanctions would threaten an initial multilateral agreement reached last month on the nation’s atomic efforts. The Obama administration hopes the November deal will help negotiators hammer out longer-term restrictions on the disputed Iranian nuclear activities.
“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” Menendez said in released remarks. “[Additional] sanctions will influence Iran’s calculus and accelerate that process toward achieving a meaningful diplomatic resolution.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday cautioned lawmakers against taking any immediate action to pass new sanctions legislation.
“If they were to impose or pass new sanctions now,” the move could “potentially scuttle the initial preliminary agreement,” Carney said.
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 »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.