Senators Reaffirm Iran Fears, Amid Diminishing Calls for New Sanctions

Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 5, 2014, 6:47 a.m.

U.S. sen­at­ors re­stated fears over the strategy for Ir­an talks, as a con­gres­sion­al sanc­tions push gradu­ally has lost mo­mentum, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee mem­bers on Tues­day said risks would be sig­ni­fic­ant if up­com­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al talks do not re­solve sus­pi­cions that Ir­an is nur­tur­ing a lat­ent nuc­le­ar-arms ca­pa­city through its os­tens­ibly peace­ful atom­ic-en­ergy activ­it­ies.

High-level staffers said the Sen­ate’s lead­er­ship has faced few­er calls in the last sev­er­al weeks to per­mit floor con­sid­er­a­tion of pos­sible new sanc­tions against Ir­an. Mean­while, Tehran is set this month to be­gin ne­go­ti­ations with the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many on a po­ten­tial long-term nuc­le­ar deal.

In an ef­fort to spur the talks along, the “P-5+1” na­tions agreed in Novem­ber to re­lax cer­tain eco­nom­ic re­stric­tions against the Middle East­ern na­tion in re­turn for lim­its on some of its nuc­le­ar ef­forts.

Pan­el Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez (D-N.J.), a pro­ponent of ad­di­tion­al eco­nom­ic steps, said he is “con­vinced that we should only re­lieve pres­sure on Ir­an in re­turn for veri­fi­able con­ces­sions that will fun­da­ment­ally dis­mantle Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s seni­or Ir­an ne­go­ti­at­or, though, con­tin­ued to in­sist that fresh sanc­tions could de­rail the ne­go­ti­ations.

“It is cru­cial we give dip­lomacy a chance to suc­ceed,” Un­der Sec­ret­ary of State Wendy Sher­man said.

The seni­or dip­lo­mat ad­ded that a pos­sible Rus­si­an-Ir­a­ni­an pet­ro­leum barter plan does not ap­pear likely to move for­ward for the time be­ing, Re­u­ters re­por­ted. The ar­range­ment might have provided $1.5 bil­lion in new monthly in­come to Ir­an.

“We are very crys­tal clear that any­thing like such an agree­ment between Rus­sia and Ir­an might have po­ten­tial sanc­tion­able ac­tion and would likely cre­ate tre­mend­ous risk with­in the P-5+1, which would make com­ing to a com­pre­hens­ive agree­ment all the more dif­fi­cult if not im­possible,” Sher­man told the com­mit­tee.

At the same time, Obama of­fi­cials said they are routinely talk­ing with Turk­ish coun­ter­parts about a sep­ar­ate barter ar­range­ment that has al­lowed Ir­an ac­cess to as much as $100 bil­lion in pet­ro­leum rev­en­ues by cir­cum­vent­ing eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties already in force, the Journ­al re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
3 days ago
THE LATEST

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.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"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.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"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."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
4 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"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%.

Source:
×