News / USA

US Congress Considering New Iran Sanctions

US Congress Considering New Iran Sanctionsi
X
December 05, 2013 11:33 PM
As early as next week the U.S. Congress could approve tough new sanctions on Iran, a move the White House warns may undermine diplomatic efforts to curb the country’s controversial nuclear program. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
TEXT SIZE - +
Meredith Buel
— As early as next week the U.S. Congress could approve tough new sanctions on Iran, a move the White House warns may undermine diplomatic efforts to curb the country’s controversial nuclear program. 

It was smiles in Geneva when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers congratulated each other over last month’s interim accord on Iran’s nuclear program.

Tough economic sanctions drove Iran to the bargaining table.  

And now some members of Congress want to put even more economic pressure on Tehran by approving a new round of sanctions.

“The Congress believes that sanctions, along with the threat of credible military force by the United States and Israel, has gotten us to this point, that if you back off now, you're sending the worst possible signals,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Some members of Congress are concerned the interim nuclear deal allows Iran to continue enriching uranium.

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, says that’s a mistake.

“I think enrichment for a country especially like Iran that is shown to have secret programs, has been seen to be a rogue nation, their ability to enrich really throws into disarray, if you will, all the other agreements that we're negotiating around the world,” he said.

The Obama administration says new sanctions will violate the interim agreement with Iran and could possibly divide the U.S. from its international partners.

President Barack Obama says more time is needed for diplomacy.

“If it turns out six months from now that they are not serious, we can crank, we can dial those sanctions right back up," he said.

The interim agreement calls for daily inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Former State Department adviser for non-proliferation Robert Einhorn says that is a must.

“You can't base this on trust," he said. "You have to base it on strong monitoring measures, strong verification measures.”

Once the interim accord is implemented, negotiators will have six months to hammer out a final agreement designed to guarantee Iran’s nuclear program can be used solely for peaceful purposes.

Analysts like James Phillips of The Heritage Foundation remain skeptical.

“As we have seen with Iran, it frequently has violated its own pledges in the past so this deal could go up in smoke in the course of the next six months,” he said.

Next week Kerry is scheduled to testify before members of Congress in an effort to address concerns about the interim nuclear deal. He will try to convince members not to approve any new sanctions while negotiations with Iran are continuing.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid