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 »
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.
It took long enough, but the Trump administration finally includes an Agriculture secretary. "The Senate easily approved Sonny Perdue on Monday" by a count of 87-11. Perdue enjoyed the support of Democrats like Delaware's Chris Coons and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, both of whom spoke in his favor.
"A media arm of the State Department is using federal resources to promote President Donald Trump’s private Florida golf club, fueling scrutiny of the nexus between the president’s official duties and his personal financial interests." On April 4, "Share America, the State Department’s social media-friendly news website, paid homage to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club ... hailing the president’s use of 'the winter White House, as Share America dubbed it, to host world leaders."
President Trump today said he'll be releasing his tax reformpacakge next week around the 100-day mark of his presidency. He promised that "businesses and individuals will receive a 'massive tax cut ... bigger I believe than any tax cut ever."