Senators Skeptical of White House Call to Delay New Iran Sanctions

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Nov. 1, 2013, 12:02 p.m.

Key U.S. sen­at­ors are res­ist­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s calls for delay­ing le­gis­la­tion that would ex­pand eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Ir­an while in­ter­na­tion­al talks are un­der way to dif­fuse ten­sions sur­round­ing the Middle East­ern na­tion’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez (D-N.J.) said he still sup­ports pro­ceed­ing with an Ir­an sanc­tions bill even after meet­ing on Thursday with Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden, Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and Treas­ury Sec­ret­ary Jack Lew.

“I’d have to hear something far more sub­stant­ive from what I heard today to dis­suade me” from act­ing on le­gis­la­tion, Men­en­dez told re­port­ers, ac­cord­ing to the wire ser­vice.

The Re­pub­lic­an-led House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives passed le­gis­la­tion in Ju­ly that would broaden eco­nom­ic con­straints, and the Sen­ate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee has been ex­pec­ted to present a sim­il­ar bill that would black­list Ir­an’s min­ing and con­struc­tion sec­tors. Yet Obama, hope­ful that the on­go­ing dip­lo­mat­ic talks with Ir­an will prove suc­cess­ful, has dis­patched seni­or of­fi­cials to Cap­it­ol Hill to seek a delay in any move to add sanc­tions.

Sen­at­or Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Thursday said he did not ex­pect any pos­it­ive out­come of talks sched­uled for next week in Geneva between Ir­an and the so-called “P-5+1” — United States, Bri­tain, France, China, Rus­sia and Ger­many.

“Sanc­tions are the only way to pre­vent a war,” Kirk re­portedly said.

Oth­er sen­at­ors, in­clud­ing Ma­jor­ity Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), were more open to hold­ing off on new sanc­tions.

“I think after 10 years of bit­ter con­front­a­tion, sanc­tions and all of the in­flamed rhet­or­ic, that it makes sense for us to be thought­ful on how and when we re­spond to the Ir­a­ni­ans,” Durbin said, ac­cord­ing to Agence France-Presse.

Biden on Fri­day de­fen­ded the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­sire for delay­ing the le­gis­la­tion on Fri­day.

“No one is sug­gest­ing an open-ended delay for new sanc­tions, and there may come a point where ad­di­tion­al sanc­tions are ne­ces­sary,” the vice pres­id­ent’s of­fice said in a state­ment, ac­cord­ing to AFP.

“At the same time, it is im­port­ant for Con­gress to re­serve its abil­ity to le­gis­late for the mo­ment when it’s most ef­fect­ive in or­der to give the cur­rent P5+1 ne­go­ti­ations the best chance to make real pro­gress in achiev­ing our shared goal of pre­vent­ing Ir­an from ob­tain­ing a nuc­le­ar weapon,” Biden’s of­fice said.

On Thursday tech­nic­al ex­perts from Ir­an and the P-5+1 na­tions com­pleted two days of talks in ad­vance of the high-pro­file gath­er­ing of seni­or dip­lo­mats from the coun­tries in Geneva on Nov. 7 and 8.

What We're Following See More »
SAYS TRUMP JUST ATTACKING REPUBLICANS
Former Top Aide to McConnell Says GOPers Should Abandon Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST
“YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY, BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT”
Trump Defends Confederate Statues in Tweetstorm
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
CEOS HAVE BEEN FLEEING FOR THE EXITS
Trump to End Business Councils
3 days ago
THE LATEST
FROM STATEMENT
McConnell: “No Good Neo-Nazis”
3 days ago
THE LATEST
NO FORMAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
CBC Members Call for Removal of Confederate Statues from Capitol
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.

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