Kerry urges Congress not to push Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry urged members of Congress on Tuesday not to pursue tougher sanctions against Iran that some lawmakers say would help ensure the interim deal signed last month leads to a final one that keeps Iran's nuclear program peaceful.
“Believe me, we are all skeptical,” Kerry told members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “But we now have the best chance we've ever had” to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Iran.
“We're asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs,” Kerry said. That means “to hold off with new sanctions while we negotiate. I'm not saying never. I'm just saying not right now.”
The deal Kerry signed last month obligates the United States not to impose new sanctions during the six-month period of the deal. The House of Representatives passed tougher sanctions in July, and the Senate is considering a bill with new sanctions that would go into effect after the interim deal expires.
“We'll do sanctions tied to the endgame where the relief will only come if they stop the enrichment program, dismantle the reactor and turn over the enriched uranium,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CNN on Monday.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said in a statement that the interim deal “will effectively freeze Iran's nuclear program” and is better than the status quo, “which allows Iran to freely pursue its nuclear ambitions away from the prying eyes of the international weapons inspectors.”
Connolly's was one of the few voices supportive of the agreement at the hearing.
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.
- White House ricochets in nonprofits’ birth control coverage fray
- NASA expected to hire private rocket
- Retailers warned about software
- Mudslides plague Washington state after wildfire strips hillsides
- His murder-arson conviction overturned, man walks free 24 years later
- Hackers hit 25,000 government workers
- U.S. could have done better, says brother of slain journalist
- Ferguson residents fear return of rioting, looting
- Charities reconsider fundraising activities
- Search for emergency shelters dropped as influx of immigrant children slows
- Kentucky firefighters recovering from ice stunt shocks