Senators Reaffirm Iran Fears, Amid Diminishing Calls for New Sanctions

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
19 FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS
Latest Count: 12 Trump Campaign Staffers Had Contact with Russians
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
THREE STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR
Eight Seaman Rescued as Navy Plane Goes Down Near Japan
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said. The C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement."

Source:
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
MULVANEY SAYS PROVISION ISN’T A DEALBREAKER
Trump May Be OK with Dropping Mandate Repeal
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."

Source:
FRANKEN JUST THE BEGINNING?
Media Devoting More Resources to Lawmakers’ Sexual Misconduct
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login