News / USA

Obama Urges Senators to Delay New Iran Sanctions

President Barack Obama, Nov. 19, 2013.
President Barack Obama, Nov. 19, 2013.
Carla Babb
U.S. President Barack Obama has asked lawmakers to delay any new sanctions against Iran while international negotiations aimed at curbing the country's nuclear program continue.  

President Obama hosted top senators at the White House Tuesday for talks that officials say were "solely focused on Iran."  The president, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, urged lawmakers not to upset progress as Western diplomats in Geneva, Switzerland, try to get Iran to agree to a deal that would stop advancements of its nuclear program for the first time in nearly a decade.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says that with a new round of negotiations beginning in Geneva, "it would be appropriate for the Senate to pause before continuing new sanctions to see if these negotiations can move forward and make progress."

The White House says the Geneva deal would modestly ease sanctions.  In exchange, Iran's leaders would make efforts to show they are not pursuing nuclear weapons.

"The president noted that the relief we are considering as part of a first step would be limited, temporary and reversible, and emphasized we will continue to enforce sanctions during the six-month period," said Carney.

International sanctions have crippled Iran's economy.

Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
x
Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Senator Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Nov. 19, 2013, following a meeting with President Barack Obama.
Republican Senator Bob Corker says he and some others at the meeting are concerned the move could forfeit some of Washington's influence over Tehran.

"We know who we're dealing with, and you know, we've watched this same type of activity occur in North Korea where you begin to alleviate sanctions.  And I think what the concern is that whatever you do on the interim basis becomes the new norm," said Corker.

Shortly after the meeting, a bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to the president, urging the administration to reject the proposed deal.  Arizona Republican John McCain and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer were among the six signers.

The United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - more commonly known as the P5+1 - want Iran to curb its enrichment activity to prevent the nation from developing nuclear weapons.  Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.   

Senator Corker says the Senate will not vote on any amendments concerning Iran sanctions until after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday.

Nuclear talks start Wednesday in Geneva.

You May Like

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 20, 2013 11:06 AM
Obama's actions become palliative to Iran's nuclear program pursuit and emboldens it to dare the world. Now Iran says it uranium enrichment and plutonium production are its rights, even drawing a red line, what is Obama still saying? Nothing in the world is as important to Obama as the destruction of Israel, which is why he is pampering Iran so that it arrives at the nuclear power stage before 2016. Israel should not let this lie low. The issue of peace with the Palestinians should be suspended forthwith, to be reopened when the troubles with Iran are over. Maybe, the war that is coming soon will determine where the borderline will be drawn.

by: NJOKU O.U.J. from: NSUKKA, NIGERIA
November 20, 2013 2:24 AM
This is a game Tehran feels it can win. Of course it has managed to maintain its counter opinion in world affairs for three decades now. The talks will only work if Tehran is guaranteed its right to enrich uranium. This is the way they think!

by: Allen from: NC
November 19, 2013 10:46 PM
Maybe because he has friends and/or relatives in high Iranian places as well as other mid-east countries.

by: alubo, atati from: nigeria
November 19, 2013 9:06 PM
Old tricks die hard. What is playing out is arhetypal of the clinton administrations handling of the nuclear imbroglio in North korea. President Obama is simply naïve.I prognosticate that Iran will reverse whatever deal it is making with the P5 + 1 as the enrichment of it's uranium will continue once sanctions are eased

by: Sam from: Canada
November 19, 2013 1:35 PM
Iran demands a fair deal:


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
November 19, 2013 1:03 PM
Personally I will call for tighter sanction on Iran to change the course of the ongoing transformation because I believe Iran's present involvement in Iraq,Lebanon,Syria etc does not put them in a better light to be part of the international community,a nuclear power Iran will cause more problem than solve.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs