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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid