News / USA

Top US Lawmakers Skeptical of Potential Iran Nuclear Pact

FILE - Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at a new conference in January, 2013.
FILE - Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at a new conference in January, 2013.
Michael Bowman
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected on Capitol Hill this week to brief lawmakers on international negotiations surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.  Kerry is likely to hear skepticism from lawmakers of both political parties about Iran’s intentions and trustworthiness.

During the past two days, Secretary Kerry has spoken of an accord governing Iran’s nuclear capabilities as desirable, but unrealized.

Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation program Sunday, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, said he is wary of any interim deal that eases sanctions against Iran in anticipation of a larger accord to end the country’s nuclear military capacity.

“[There are] a lot of concerns about the approach.  All of us want to see it resolved diplomatically.  We know the sanctions have gotten us here.  And we [lawmakers] are worried we are dealing away our leverage," said Corker.

Monday, Kerry said major powers had joined together in an agreement, but that Iran objected to it.  The secretary did not provide details of what the proposal contained.

But the very fact that so-called P+1 negotiators were ready to move ahead and Iran was not is troubling to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Democrat Robert Menendez spoke on ABC’s This Week program.

“My concern here is that we seem to want the deal almost more than the Iranians.  And you cannot want the deal more than the Iranians, especially when the Iranians are on the ropes [suffering economically]," said Menendez.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted international sanctions, but said his country would continue to enrich nuclear material.  Menendez said sanctions should be maintained and even strengthened until an ironclad final accord is in effect.

“It [sanctions] is an insurance for the United States to make sure that Iran actually complies with an agreement.  It is also an incentive for the Iranians to know what is coming if you do not strike a deal," he said.

Menendez said he “looks forward” to working with other lawmakers on a new round of sanctions against Iran, but did not rule out the possibility the measures could be set aside if and when an accord with Tehran is finalized.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 12, 2013 8:52 AM
Iran should be the one proposing while the P5+1 should be weighing and considering pros and cons. What the world wants from Iran is not new, Iran should be acting on that and be showing how well it has complied so far, which should be the basis of further engagement with the UN and the P5+1. Opening up to IAEA inspection may be a welcome development, but what was Iran's initial reason for objecting to the inspection in the first place if it was not working on a military nuclear program?

Having brought the negotiations to the sanctions levels, Iran only has to comply with the UN demand for there to be a way forward. Continuing to insist on enrichment of uranium in Iran is just to replicate Iran's known hardline posture, and nobody should be in a hurry to accept such a bad deal. Iran wants nuclear power generation, the world agrees but says the fuel should only be imported. What is so attractive in Rouhani's half-baked openness that retains uranium enrichment inside Iran? Maybe to blame as sabotaging the UN , IAEA and P5+1 groups efforts in this matter is Britain wanting to jump the gun to ease diplomatic relations with Iran.

Britain deserves condemnation for that action when Iran is still under observation for its uncivilized approach to relations with other countries. It does not as yet matter that Rouhani tends to show some level of difference from his predecessor on issues like relations with the West and Israel, and on holocaust, all of which can be window dressing to achieve sanctions reprieve. Iran has not yet proved in concrete terms that it is willing to come out of its cocoon to embrace openness, drop bitter hatred of Jews and drop support and sponsorship of terrorism worldwide in order to be seen as part of the world community. Above all, Iran has not proved to grant freedom to minorities and secular views. In fact Britain's action can only be qualified as a betrayal to the world that has reposed much trust in it for direction.

by: Stehling from: NYC
November 12, 2013 4:56 AM
The power of AIPAC and the entire US Israel lobby comprising over a dozen associated political action groups in Washington, have now shown their hand by apparently taking over the Geneva conference on Iran and disrupting the democratic process.

It needs to be more widely understood that the Israel lobby that also has affiliated cells in all EU capitals including London, Paris and Berlin, which although entirely privately financed and unelected, has enormous influence over the US congress and thereby over world affairs.

The has led to the current extraordinary spectacle of the prime minister of Israel, a tiny state of just 8 million in the Middle East, now orchestrating the vitally important talks in Geneva on trade sanctions on Iran and consequently upon world economic affairs.

There is an increasing groundswell of opinion, globally, and particularly in Europe, that the diplomatic and political decisions that are properly the remit of the United Nations have been hijacked by the US Israel lobby working through its European affiliates. If correct, this is a global disaster.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs