As diplomats discuss a long-term agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, a majority of senators Tuesday increased pressure on President Obama to make sure he includes key provisions.
In a letter to the president, 83 senators outlined “core principles” they believe must be in a final agreement. Negotiations among Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Iran are ongoing in Vienna.
At the top of their list is an assertion that the final agreement must underline that Iran has no right to uranium enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It’s a long-contested subject, and an idea that Iranian officials have rejected.
Senators are pressing for a handful of other provisions as part of a long-term deal, including:
A dismantling of Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.
The shuttering of Iran’s heavy-water reactor at Arak, explanations on “questionable activities” at other reactors, and stressing that Iran “has no reason” to have an underground enrichment facility.
The tackling of previous concerns raised by the United Nation’s Security Council, including questions about whether the program has a military aspect. International Atomic Energy Agency officials have expressed hope that they can get to the bottom of a long-standing investigation over any military-related programs.
Iran must allow “long-term and intrusive inspection and verification” at its sites to make sure it cannot try to get or build a nuclear weapon.
And the senators are giving the administration a reason to pay attention to its request: sanctions. They note that if the president wants a long-term rollback of sanctions “beyond existing waiver authority” as part of an “acceptable” final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, it will have to work with Congress
Many of the senators have backed long-stalled legislation to increase sanctions against Iran if it violates the interim agreement reached last year or walks away from talks over a long-term deal. The Obama administration and Iranian officials have stressed that any sanctions legislation would kill diplomatic progress.
But the bipartisan group contends “that the pressure from economic sanctions brought Iran to the table, and that it must continue until Iran abandons its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.”
What We're Following See More »
Even though they dislike both of them, the American people want to know that its presidential candidates are healthy. "Nearly two-thirds of registered voters think presidential candidates should release details about their medical histories, according to a new Morning Consult poll." In the new poll, 64 percent of Americans say the candidates should release their medical reports, up nine percent from May.
In a speech Friday at the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole summit, Fed chair Janet Yellen sounded an optimistic tone about the state of the American economy, before implying that a hike in interest rates is on the horizon. The Fed "continues to anticipate that gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate over time to achieve and sustain employment and inflation near our statutory objectives," Yellen said in her address.
While politicians argue over whether or not to be worried about potential voter fraud come November, a study tells us it is not a legitimate concern. "A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls."
The Democratic National Committee's "influx of money" in July "owes in part to an unprecedented workaround of political spending limits that lets the party tap into millions of dollars more" from Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors. "At least $7.3 million of the DNC’s July total originated with payments from hundreds of major donors who had already contributed the maximum $33,400 to the national committee." Those payments were "first bundled by the Hillary Victory Fund and then transferred to the state Democratic parties, which effectively stripped the donors’ names and sent the money to the DNC as a lump sum."
President Obama this morning "created the largest protected area on the planet Friday, by expanding a national marine monument off the coast of his native Hawaii to encompass 582,578 square miles of land and sea."