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 British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid