News / USA

Window Closing for New US Sanctions on Iran

FILE - Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), on Capitol Hill, Washington, May 21, 2013.FILE - Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), on Capitol Hill, Washington, May 21, 2013.
x
FILE - Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), on Capitol Hill, Washington, May 21, 2013.
FILE - Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), on Capitol Hill, Washington, May 21, 2013.
Michael Bowman
— The chairman of the U.S. Senate committee that has crafted existing sanctions against Iran is speaking out against new penalties while international negotiations continue to limit Tehran’s nuclear program.
 
Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat of South Dakota and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee — the body that crafts financial restrictions on Iran — appears to be backing the Obama administration’s intensive lobbying effort to convince lawmakers to give diplomacy a chance.
 
“A new round of U.S. sanctions now could rupture the unity of the international coalition against Iran’s nuclear program,” Johnson said on Thursday, indicating that any Senate bill designed to boost sanctions against Tehran before the Dec. 31 deadline would face hurdles in the Banking Committee.
 
But the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, disagrees.
 
“Sanctions clearly worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table," he said. "I remain convinced that we must maintain that leverage moving forward.”
 
With the House of Representatives scheduled to adjourn this week, and the Senate next week, the opportunity for congressional action this year has all but passed, and any new sanctions measure that might be approved would face a near-certain veto by President Barack Obama.
 
“I understand that we are going through a ‘rope-a-dope’ [false maneuver] here in the Senate and that we are not actually going to do anything [on sanctions],” said Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee.
 
A fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, says Congress could revisit the issue early next year.
 
“At the end of the day, I think there will be a bipartisan bill produced, and I think there will be a vote in January," he said. "We will push [for it]. I am going to push.”
 
But according to State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who told the committee that diplomacy must be given a chance to work, that would be a mistake.
 
“We must test that diplomacy, and the way to do that is to see through the compliance of this first step and to negotiate that comprehensive agreement," she said. "Congress always has the prerogative to act. It can act very quickly — I know that, particularly when it comes to sanctions on Iran.”
 
Sherman said the recently announced interim deal with Iran places strict limits on the country's nuclear activities and relies on robust verification, not trust.
 
Skeptics of the accord include Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who says regardless of whether sanctions are imposed, Congress should clearly state what it expects from a final nuclear deal with Iran.
 
“Maybe what the Senate needs to do is define the endgame, and at least what it finds as acceptable as the final status.”
 
The Obama administration insists the only acceptable outcome is an Iran that verifiably does not produce nuclear weapons.
 
Some U.S. lawmakers doubt that goal will be achieved, especially absent further economic pressure on the country.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid