News / USA

    Obama Urges Senators to Delay New Iran Sanctions

    President Barack Obama, Nov. 19, 2013.
    President Barack Obama, Nov. 19, 2013.
    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.

    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

    You May Like

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    City could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters

    Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers

    Ankara continues targeting people allegedly linked to exiled cleric, who it says led the failed military coup

    Pakistan Ready to Inaugurate Rebuilt Afghan Border Crossing

    Construction of Torkham Gate triggered deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan military forces

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora