News / Middle East

Kerry Asks Congress to Hold Off on Any New Sanctions on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on agreements over Iran's nuclear program, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on agreements over Iran's nuclear program, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.
Cindy Saine
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has strongly defended the Obama administration's interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program, and asked Congress to hold off on passing any new sanctions on Iran to give ongoing negotiations a chance to succeed.   The Senate is sending mixed signals as to whether it will take up a measure to impose new sanctions on Iran before it leaves for recess this year.
 
For the first time since the agreement on Iran was reached in Geneva last month, Secretary of State John Kerry came to Capitol Hill to address concerns that have been voiced by skeptical lawmakers.  Kerry heard plenty of those from both Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee.  The committee's chairman, Ed Royce, a Republican, said Iran has a history of deceiving the international community about its nuclear program.
 
"Iran is not just another country.  It simply cannot be trusted with enrichment technology, because verification efforts can never be foolproof," said Royce.
 
Kerry argued that the agreement is a big boost to both U.S. national security and the security of close U.S. allies in the Middle East, including Israel.
 
"Once implemented, this agreement halts the progress of Iran's nuclear program, halts the progress and rolls it back for the first time in nearly 10 years," said Kerry.
 
Kerry appealed to members of the House and the Senate to hold off any efforts to impose new, tougher sanctions against Iran during the six month period specified in the deal, saying this could derail the process.

"Let me be very clear: this is a very delicate diplomatic moment and we have a chance to address peacefully one of the most pressing national security concerns that the world faces today,” said Kerry.
 
The House already passed tougher sanctions on Iran in July, but the Senate has not.  There are mixed signals coming from the Senate.   Republican Senator John McCain, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated to VOA that the panel is considering a new sanctions bill.
 
"[We are] still negotiating, we should have an agreement soon," said McCain.
 
The Senate Banking Committee is not planning to pursue new sanctions against Iran.  For this year, the Senate only has a little more than one week to act before a planned recess.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid