News / Middle East

White House: Obama Would Veto Any New Iran Sanctions

President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House about the nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran that calls on Tehran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, 11/23/13 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House about the nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran that calls on Tehran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, 11/23/13 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
 The White House says President Barack Obama would veto any new legislation imposing additional sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. 

Legislation introduced in the Senate, supported as of Thursday by 26 Democratic and Republican senators, directly defies appeals from President Obama.

Called the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, the measure would expand restrictions on Iran's energy sector.  It also states that the United States should provide military, diplomatic and economic support to Israel if the Jewish state takes military action against Iranian facilities.

President Obama says U.S. lawmakers must allow the United States and other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, to continue testing Iran's commitment to a diplomatic solution.  

Iran and the P5+1 nations resumed expert-level talks in Geneva Thursday on the deal that requires Tehran to curb its nuclear program in return for some limited relief from economic sanctions.
 
The Senate legislation is not likely to come to a vote until some time in January.  And lawmakers will no doubt come under even more pressure from the administration to drop the effort.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama would veto any bill containing new sanctions, which the interim nuclear agreement with Iran has said would not be imposed.

"We don't believe this proposal is necessary, as I think we have made clear, and we have been discussing with members of Congress for quite some time.  We don't believe it will be enacted; we certainly know it's not necessary.  If it were to pass, the president would veto it," Carney said.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced new enforcement actions against additional Iranian companies and individuals based on existing sanctions, a step that led Iran to temporarily interrupt discussions.

Carney said the White House has been in "regular and very direct" conversations with lawmakers, and reiterated that Congress could act quickly if Iran fails to comply.  New sanctions, he said, could derail negotiations and suggest "bad faith" on the part of the United States.

Two Republicans who have signed on to the legislation -- John McCain and Lindsey Graham -- spoke in the Senate Thursday about the need to maintain pressure on Iran.

McCain said it would be appropriate for Congress to make clear to the Obama administration and to Iran's leadership that the "screws are going to tighten."

"Shouldn't there be some sanctions that would kick in after a six-month period which then the Iranians would know that if they don't reach an agreement then the sanctions would be more severe?" McCain asked.

White House spokesman Carney also responded to a question about remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov regarding efforts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, and the U.S. missile shield in Europe.

Speaking in Poland, where interceptors for the missile shield are to be deployed by 2018, Lavrov said successful implementation of the Geneva agreement would remove the cause for the U.S. missile shield.

Carney said the U.S. position has not changed, noting that an interim deal with Iran is "not a comprehensive agreement and not a resolution to the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program."

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid