Twenty-Six Senators Preparing Bill for New Iran Sanctions
This effort is being led by Senator Robert Menendez a Democrat from New Jersey and Republican Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois. The measure would increase pressure on Tehran if it failed to meet set obligations it has agreed to in the historic deal last month to freeze some of its controversial nuclear program.
The promise to stop the advances in the nuclear program towards nuclear weapons came as a trade off for a temporary lifting of some of the existing economic sanctions.
The Obama administration said on Thursday that any legislation containing sanctions would hurt at this time the diplomatic negotiations currently taking place with Iran. The White House warned that President Obama would veto the proposal from the Senate if it were passed.
Jay Carney the spokesman from the White House said it is not currently the time to pass this legislation on Capitol Hill. Carney said that if Iran did not comply with the temporary agreement or approve the agreement that is more comprehensive in six months, we have confidence that at that time then we could approach Congress for additional sanctions.
However, the backers of the legislation said that leaders in Iran could not be trusted to stick to the principles of the deal without there being a threat sanctions would be put into place.
Kirk in a prepared statement said that the people in the U.S. are right to distrust Tehran’s true intentions and deserve to have an insurance policy in case of any deception by Iran during the upcoming negotiations.
Senator Menendez said that the current sanctions in place helped bring Iran to the latest negotiating table and credible threats of future economic sanctions would make it necessary for Tehran to act in good faith and cooperate at the talks.
Last week the Iranians put the blame on the U.S. administration for the sanctions, now they are criticizing Congress.
Any prospective sanctions, said Menendez would influence the calculus of Iran and accelerate them toward reaching a diplomatic resolution that is meaningful.