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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs