News

    Iran Nuclear Revelation Reinforces Sanction Determination in US Congress

    Iran Nuclear Revelation Reinforces Sanction Determination in US Congress
    Iran Nuclear Revelation Reinforces Sanction Determination in US Congress

    Multimedia

    Audio


    The revelation that Iran has been constructing a second uranium enrichment facility has reinforced the determination of the U.S. Congress to move forward with sanctions legislation.
     
    With Iran now facing intensified pressure to provide a complete account of all of its enrichment and any weapons-related activities, revelation of the new enrichment facility reinforced the determination of U.S. lawmakers to move ahead with tougher sanctions.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's assertion in a Friday news conference in New York that the new facility was not in violation of International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines and would be for energy purposes seemed to only increase the degree of anger on Capitol Hill.

    Representative Howard Berman, the Democrat heading the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement saying the news reinforces his determination to move a sanctions bill next month.

    Saying Iran's intention to build nuclear weaponry and its efforts to disguise this could not be clearer now, Berman said there can be no doubt Iran has been lying to the international community for years about its allegedly peaceful nuclear intentions.

    The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which has overwhelming bipartisan support with more than 300 House members backing it, would expand existing sanctions and effectively prohibit any non-U.S. company involved in selling, or enabling the sale or transport of, refined petroleum products to Iran from doing business in the United States.

    Because it lacks refining capacity, Iran is mostly dependent on foreign gasoline imports.  Expanded U.S. sanctions would cover petroleum, petroleum by-products, oil or liquefied natural gas, tankers, and products used to construct or maintain pipelines.

    Democrat Ike Skelton, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, said fact that Iran concealed the existence of the enrichment site is not consistent with its claims that the facility will be used only for peaceful purposes.

    The revelation triggered a wave of condemnation on the House floor, with Republicans joining Democrats in calls to speed passage of new sanctions legislation.

    Howard McKeon, ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, questioned why, if the facility was designed for civilian purposes, Iran concealed its existence.

    "It is time for the Obama administration to do something concrete, beyond pinning their hopes on upcoming talks [or] relying on Russia to protect our security interests.  This starts with stronger sanctions against Iran, right now," he said.

    Republicans also asserted that the nuclear revelation supports their position that President Obama acted unwisely in altering plans for a European missile shield to defend against future missile launches by Iran.

    Republican Congressman Trent Franks said, "It is disgracefully ironic that today's announcement comes only a week after announcing our abandonment of the European missile defense site which could have protected the homeland of the United States against Iranian long-range missiles."

    Saying President Obama has offered Iran every opportunity for constructive diplomatic dialogue on its nuclear program, Senate Democratic Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry said more robust sanctions are the only way to dramatically increase the economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran from the outside and help leverage pressure on the regime from its own population which wants a different relationship with the world.

    Senate legislation sponsored by Democrat Evan Bayh that mirrors the gasoline sanctions bill in the House Foreign Affairs Committee currently has the support of 75 lawmakers in that chamber.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora