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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
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 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.

AppleAndroid