Senators Cross Aisle To Call For New Sanctions On Iran | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Senators Cross Aisle To Call For New Sanctions On Iran

A bipartisan measure defying President Obama would impose new sanctions on Iran if it breaks an interim deal to curb its nuclear program.

The "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act" would also compel the United States to back any Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Reuters says:

"Democrats Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Charles Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk, along with 23 others, introduced the bill intended to choke off funding to Iran's nuclear program by cutting off its oil sales.

"Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also has said a new sanctions law would kill the interim agreement reached in Geneva on Nov. 24 between Iran and the 'P5+1' powers. In that agreement, Tehran agreed to limit uranium enrichment in return for an easing of international sanctions."

"[We've] been in regular, very direct conversations with members of Congress on this subject, and have made very clear to them that we do not believe now is the time to pass any additional new sanctions through Congress," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

"With regards to this particular measure, we don't think it will be enacted," he said. "[If] Iran does not comply with its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action, the preliminary agreement, or if Iran fails to reach agreement with the P5+1 on the more comprehensive agreement over the course of six months, we are very confident that we can work with Congress to very quickly pass new, effective sanctions against Iran."

The Associated Press reports:

"The goal, according to supporters, is to strengthen the negotiating leverage of the Obama administration as it seeks to pressure Iran into a comprehensive agreement next year that would eliminate the risk of the Islamic republic developing nuclear weapons. But it could also create added complications for U.S. negotiators, who promised Iran no new economic sanctions for the duration of the six-month interim pact that was finalized on Nov. 24 in Geneva.

" '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,' said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who spearheaded the effort with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

"Kirk called the draft law 'an insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception.' "

Meanwhile, 10 Senate Democrats who head key committees sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opposing the measure.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Hundreds Brave Frigid Temperatures To Celebrate Kite Festival

There was plenty of wind to lift kites of all shapes and sizes at the National Blossom Kite Festival Sunday; at least for those who could brave the cold.

NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Indiana Governor: Lawmakers To 'Clarify' Anti-Gay Law

Mike Pence, who signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, says he didn't anticipate the level of hostility the law has engendered.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.