Kerry tells Congress to stand down
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry warned Congress on Wednesday against scuttling a historic opportunity for a nuclear pact with Iran by pressing ahead with new sanctions while international negotiators seek to prevent Tehran from being able to assemble an atomic weapons arsenal.
Kerry, who as a senator joined the effort to impose crippling oil, trade and investment restrictions on Iran, said the United States and other world powers are united behind an offer they presented to Iranian negotiators last week. But he said new action from lawmakers could shatter a coalition made up of countries with interests as divergent as France, Russia and China, endangering hopes for an end to the decade-long nuclear standoff with the Islamic republic.
“We put these sanctions in place in order to be able to put us in the strongest position possible to be able to negotiate. We now are negotiating,” Kerry told reporters ahead of testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. “And the risk is that if Congress were to unilaterally move to raise sanctions, it could break faith in those negotiations, and actually stop them and break them apart.”
With nuclear negotiations set to resume in Switzerland next week, the Obama administration dispatched Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to seek more time for diplomacy.
They were met with skepticism from members of Congress wary of yielding any ground to Iran in the talks.
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday, Democratic and Republican lawmakers sharply criticized Kerry and other senior U.S. officials for their offer during last week's inconclusive negotiations.
“The Iranian regime hasn't paused its nuclear program,” lamented Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman. “Why should we pause our sanctions efforts as the administration is pressuring Congress to do?”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama’s planned trip to Ethiopia riles some emigres
- Anti-Clinton crowd looks left to Sanders
- Pentagon leery of Russia’s ‘hybrid warfare’
- After year of Washington legal pot sales, taxes top $70M
- Some Texans fear military training mission has ulterior motives at Obama’s direction
- Volunteers key in marine rescues
- After years in obscurity, Medal of Honor recipient to be reburied with military honors
- 66 riders safely evacuated as 400-foot Ferris wheel stops in Florida
- Arizona prison says 700 inmates again ‘refusing to comply’
- Instances of hacking may be up, but indictments against Chinese military impactful, experts say
- Santorum charter flight tab broke $400K