Obama Officials Seek Pause on New Iran Penalties

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 24, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama’s staff planned on Thursday to privately cau­tion the Sen­ate against im­me­di­ately con­sid­er­ing new sanc­tions le­gis­la­tion his ad­min­is­tra­tion be­lieves could hamper nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­ations with Ir­an, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Del­eg­ates for top Sen­ate pan­el mem­bers were ex­pec­ted to hear the White House case for again post­pon­ing con­sid­er­a­tion of an Ir­an pen­al­ties bill ini­tially sched­uled for a Septem­ber vote on the Sen­ate Bank­ing Com­mit­tee, ac­cord­ing to a high-level Sen­ate staffer. The in­sider said Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate lead­ers could over­ride GOP calls for prompt ac­tion on the sanc­tions pro­pos­al, which is de­signed to bol­ster pres­sure on Ir­an to ad­dress con­cerns that its os­tens­ibly peace­ful atom­ic activ­it­ies are geared to­ward de­vel­op­ment of a nuc­le­ar-weapon cap­ab­il­ity.

A White House spokes­wo­man said Thursday’s meet­ing is part of “on­go­ing con­sulta­tions” with Con­gress fol­low­ing last week’s nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­ations between Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mats and coun­ter­parts from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States. Plans are in place for a Nov. 7-8 fol­low-up meet­ing in Geneva.

In the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, le­gis­lat­ors ap­peared sat­is­fied with a Wed­nes­day ad­min­is­tra­tion brief­ing on the on­go­ing atom­ic dis­cus­sions with Ir­an, For­eign Policy magazine re­por­ted. The up­date came from U.S. Un­der Sec­ret­ary of State Wendy Sher­man, Wash­ing­ton’s top del­eg­ate to the mul­ti­lat­er­al talks.

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