News / Middle East

US Senate Panel Will Move Ahead on New Iran Sanctions

Reuters
— The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will move ahead with a package of tough new sanctions on Iran after the negotiating session over its nuclear program ends in Geneva on Friday, the committee's chairman said on Thursday.
 
Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told him to go ahead with the mark-up - or consideration - of the bill, a step toward bringing it to the full Senate for a vote.
 
“We'll wait until the Geneva meeting is over with, but I talked to Harry Reid about it yesterday and he wants to mark up,” Johnson told Reuters outside the Senate chamber.
 
He said the date of the mark-up, during which senators present amendments to the legislation and vote whether to send it to the full Senate, had not been determined as of Thursday.
 
President Barack Obama's administration has been pushing Congress to hold off on more sanctions against Iran to let the delicate diplomatic talks over Tehran's nuclear program unfold.
 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Geneva on Thursday that it and six world powers were making progress in the talks, although the discussions were “tough.”
 
And in Washington on Thursday, a White House spokesman said the powers negotiating with Iran would consider a limited pullback of sanctions in exchange for clear evidence that Tehran is taking steps to stop its nuclear program from advancing.
 
But Congress tends to take a harder line on Iran than the administration. Many lawmakers, including several of Obama's fellow Democrats, believe that tough sanctions brought Tehran to the negotiating table and insist that more are needed to discourage it from developing a nuclear bomb.
 
Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.
 
Sanctions imposed last year by Washington and the European Union have combined to slash Iran's oil exports by roughly 1 million barrels a day, depriving Tehran of billions of dollars of income and driving up inflation and unemployment.
 
The Republican-led House of Representatives passed its version of a stiffer sanctions bill in July. But the Senate, where Democrats control a majority of the seats, put off moving ahead with its bill after the administration asked for more time to pursue the talks.
 
The House bill among other things seeks to slash Iran's oil exports to nearly zero. The Senate bill has been widely expected to be less stringent.
 
The timing issue became more complicated after a handful of senators, including Republican Mark Kirk, a banking panel member, said they might go ahead with a sanctions package even if the banking committee held off.
 
Kirk and a few other Republicans said they were considering introducing a stiffer package of Iran sanctions as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that is expected to be debated in the Senate during the week of Nov. 18.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid