News / USA

Some Lawmakers Call for Tougher US Action Against Iran

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen (L), with Commerce Undersecretary David Mills, testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing 'Addressing Potential Threats from Iran: Administration Perspectives on Implementing New Economic Sanctions One Year L
Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen (L), with Commerce Undersecretary David Mills, testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing 'Addressing Potential Threats from Iran: Administration Perspectives on Implementing New Economic Sanctions One Year L
Cindy Saine

U.S. lawmakers are calling for senior Obama administration officials to step up the pressure on Iran, after an alleged Iranian plot was disrupted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Several members of  Congress complained that sanctions against Iran do not appear to be working, and that stronger action is required.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "Iran and Syria: the Next Steps" has been scheduled for weeks. But the dramatic revelation earlier this week by Attorney General Eric Holder that members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington dominated the hearing.  

Republican Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called the plot a wake-up call, and questioned the wisdom of continued efforts by the Obama administration to engage with the Iranian government.

"You believe that engagement with a country whose leaders have reportedly sanctioned this assassination plot, because money transfers would have very difficult in a country like that were it not approved by higher-ups, that engagement with this country is possible?" said Ros-Lehtinen.

The Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, defended administration policies towards Iran, saying President Barack Obama has imposed the toughest sanctions on Tehran of any country in the world.

"This administration is committed to addressing the continued threat posed by the Iranian regime's nuclear ambitions, its support for international terrorism, its de-stabilizing activities in the region and its human rights abuses at home," said Sherman.

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen said the administration is considering new sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Iran, and he said it is well aware of the threat.

"This is a dramatic reminder that the urgent and serious threat we face from Iran is not limited to Iran's nuclear ambitions," said Cohen.

But Republican Representative Connie Mack of Florida joined many other lawmakers in expressing skepticism that threatening more sanctions is enough of a response to an alleged attempt to blow up a restaurant to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

"I am not sure with those comments that I have got a lot of confidence that the threat is being taken seriously enough," said Mack.

Democratic Representative Gary Ackerman of New York raised the question of how the United States would have responded if the alleged plot had succeeded. "And also, if they were, if they, heaven forbid, would have been successful in that attack, what would have been our response?"

President Barack Obama has said the United States will continue to apply the toughest sanctions possible against Iran, and will not take any options off the table.

Treasury Undersecretary Cohen argued the sanctions against Iran and Syria are having an impact.

"As a result of these sanctions, the [Syrian] Assad regime is struggling to find buyers for its oil, to access foreign currency, and to maintain economic stability."

Analysts say more congressional investigations into the alleged Iranian assassination plot are likely to follow, and that the pressure from lawmakers on the president to step up the pressure on Iran is likely to continue.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid