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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More