TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Congress a tough foe of Iran accord

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 7:18 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — An agreement secured with its greatest global foe, the Obama administration pleaded on Tuesday with a more familiar if often difficult negotiating partner not to scuttle last weekend's Iran nuclear deal: Congress.

Just back from his diplomatic triumph in Europe, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a video message to legislators as he urged that they not introduce new economic measures against Iran at a time the United States and fellow world powers are withdrawing some sanctions in exchange for the Iranians curtailing their nuclear program.

Kerry asserted that now is the time to get to work on a final agreement that removes any suspicion that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons. “We all know that if the agreement falls apart, Iran is going to quickly face even tougher sanctions,” he said in the message.

Although Kerry was reaching out personally to key senators, Democrats and Republicans appeared determined to increase the pressure on Tehran. Many in Congress are skeptical, if not outright hostile, regarding the deal reached in Geneva. Two key senators are at work on legislation to reinstate the full force of sanctions and impose new ones if Iran doesn't make good on its pledge to roll back its nuclear program.

“The American people need an insurance policy to prevent a rerun of North Korea,” said Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who is crafting a bill alongside Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. Critics of the accord reached in Geneva believe it could allow Iran to trick international monitors while it assembles an atomic weapons arsenal, similarly to what North Korea did last decade.

Iran sanctions evoke great passion in Washington. Although Obama views the economic pressure as the key motivation for bringing Iran's new moderate President Hassan Rouhani to the negotiating table, pulling them back is the administration's only real carrot for securing nuclear concessions.

Congress, which passed the sanctions, is leery. Israel views any easing of economic pressure as a dangerous concession that allows Iran to move closer to nuclear weapons capability. And the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee has joined the call, saying new sanctions are needed “so that Iran will face immediate consequences should it renege on its commitments or refuse to negotiate an acceptable final agreement.”

Menendez and Kirk hope to have their bill ready for other lawmakers to consider when the Senate returns on Dec. 9 from its two-week recess, legislative aides said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  2. Protesters ousted in bid to block Shell icebreaker on Portland river
  3. Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
  4. Minn. dentist laying low in slaying of lion
  5. Highway bill on Obama’s desk extends funding 3 months
  6. VA whistle-blowers aghast
  7. Piece of plant found on island on way to France for analysis
  8. Only 1 co-op health program, of 23, made money in 2014, report says
  9. Geological gem The Wave on Arizona-Utah border draws worldwide visitors
  10. McClatchy: Emails on Clinton’s private server contain Benghazi information
  11. OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims