White House again urges halt to Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON — The White House hosted a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said.
The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to reach a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month but was held back because of appeals from the Obama administration to let negotiations on Iran's nuclear program get under way.
The aide said Republicans would resist further delay but that the decision was in the hands of Democrats Sen. Tim Johnson, the committee's chairman, and Majority Leader Harry Reid.
A Johnson spokesman confirmed that a meeting on Iran took place in the White House but gave no further details. A Reid spokesman was not immediately available to comment.
While Congress has sought harsher sanctions on Iran, the administration wants more time to give negotiations over Iran's nuclear program a chance. The negotiations that include six world powers are scheduled to resume Nov. 7-8 in Geneva.
Washington and its allies believe Tehran is developing the ability to make a nuclear weapon, but Tehran says the program is for generating power and medical devices.
Sanctions imposed in 2011 by Washington and the EU have combined to slash Iran's oil exports by more than 1 million barrels per day, depriving Tehran of billions of dollars worth of sales per month and helping to drive up inflation and unemployment.
European governments took steps on Thursday to reimpose sanctions on Iran's main cargo shipping line, which, if finalized, could complicate the push to settle the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
Senators have begun debating behind closed doors a new sanctions bill that could seek further cuts in Iran's oil exports and limit the ability of the administration to issue waivers to the sanctions.
The House overwhelmingly approved new sanctions in July that seek to cut exports to almost nothing in a year.
The White House confirmed there was a meeting with Senate aides, but a spokeswoman would not comment on whether the administration would push for further delay in the sanctions.
“Congress has been an important partner in our efforts thus far. We will continue our close consultation, as we have in the past, so that any congressional action is aligned with our negotiating strategy as we move forward,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.
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.
- Venezuela’s Maduro says airlines wage ‘economic war’
- 10,000 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan as security treaty is finally signed
- Sides reach out to undecided in Hong Kong
- With help from U.S.-led airstrikes, Kurds retake strategic border town
- Obama, India PM forge deals on major issues
- Mystery over North Korean leader fuels health rumors
- Unrest, fatalities challenge shaky cease-fire in Ukraine