Report: Kerry Airs Openness to New Iran Sanctions

Global Security Newswire Staff
July 17, 2014, 10:09 a.m.

U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry voiced open­ness to pro­pos­als that would auto­mat­ic­ally tight­en Ir­an sanc­tions un­der cer­tain con­di­tions, al-Mon­it­or re­ports.

Ad­dress­ing a group of Jew­ish le­gis­lat­ors be­hind closed doors, the top U.S. dip­lo­mat on Thursday said he would per­son­ally con­sider im­pos­ing triggered pen­al­ties in a bid to se­cure a deal on Ir­an’s bomb-us­able nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies. The po­ten­tial meas­ures would take ef­fect if an in­ter­na­tion­al agree­ment on the mat­ter is not reached with­in a spe­cif­ic peri­od.

Kerry stressed that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion had not signed off on the plan, ac­cord­ing to mul­tiple U.S. law­makers. Tehran pre­vi­ously threatened to pull back from ne­go­ti­ations in re­sponse to such meas­ures.

“He said it might be use­ful as a spur,” one of the in­siders said. “But he said he hadn’t checked with the White House.”

Kerry’s re­por­ted re­mark promp­ted a fa­vor­able ini­tial re­sponse from some law­makers.

“I sensed an open­ness to­ward a sanc­tions bill that would be triggered by fu­ture events — or un­triggered by pos­it­ive fu­ture events. … I’d like to work on that,” said Rep­res­ent­at­ive Brad Sher­man (D-Cal­if). Sher­man was not one of al-Mon­it­or’s sources on Kerry’s com­ments.

The State De­part­ment said it re­mains form­ally against ad­opt­ing any new pen­al­ties against Ir­an.

“Our po­s­i­tion has not changed — we do not sup­port ad­di­tion­al nuc­le­ar-re­lated sanc­tions while we ne­go­ti­ate,” spokes­wo­man Mar­ie Harf wrote in an e-mail. “We will con­tin­ue con­sult­ing closely with Con­gress, [which] has played a key role in build­ing the sanc­tions re­gime we have in place right now, about the com­pre­hens­ive ne­go­ti­ations and the path for­ward.”

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