President Barack Obama is receiving harsh criticism from the Anti-Defamation League over his handing of nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva.
The group's national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said from Israel on Monday that while he had given Obama "the benefit of a doubt" after the president met with Jewish leaders last month at the White House, he has reviewed the administration's latest approach to Iran and is calling for additional, "crippling" sanctions.
"We no longer have the luxury or the option to refrain from enacting additional sanctions against Iran," Foxman said
, noting that tentative points established for the next round of deliberations on Nov. 20 will set the wrong tone.
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"The time has come for Congress, especially the Senate, not only to reconfirm and strengthen the existing sanctions, but also to begin to impose additional sanctions against Iran," he said, calling on the president to be forceful in any negotiations moving ahead.
"Crippling sanctions have worked in the past, and they have the greatest chance to succeed in getting Iran to agree to give up its nuclear weapons program," Foxman said.
Foxman chided both the United States and Israel for their lack of trust in each other at a "pivotal" moment. He called U.S. leaks about Israeli military action in the region, including Syria and Sudan, along with Secretary of State John Kerry's "moral preaching" over the Israel-Palestine debate, "counterproductive."
"Clearly, both countries share the same goals: regional stability, preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and making progress with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process," Foxman said. "But the strategy to get there is different. At times this creates tension between the two states when the strategy is emphasized over the goals."
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