Tags: Iran | Iran | negotiations | timeline | sanctions | nuclear

10 Democrats Sign Onto Iran Sanctions Bill in Senate

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:44 PM

A group of ten Senate Democrats told President Barack Obama Tuesday that they will give the administration two months to complete a nuclear deal with Iran before moving forward with voting for a sanctions bill.

"We remain deeply skeptical that Iran is committed to making the concessions required to demonstrate to the world that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful by March 24 — the deadline agreed upon for a political framework agreement," said New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez in the letter sent to Obama Tuesday.

"Considering Iran’s history in nuclear negotiations and after two extensions of the Joint Plan of Action, we are concerned that Iran is intentionally extending the negotiations to improve its leverage at the negotiating table," he explained.

"In acknowledgement of your concern regarding congressional action on legislation at this moment, we will not vote for this legislation on the Senate floor before March 24," the New Jersey Democrat wrote.

"After March 24, we will only vote for this legislation on the Senate floor if Iran fails to reach agreement on a political framework that addresses all parameters of a comprehensive agreement," he said. "This deadline is the critical test of Iranian intentions."

The letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Chris Coons of Delaware, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is a co-author of the measure along with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, which is aimed at imposing additional economic sanctions on Iran to put pressure on the country to not enrich uranium for the purpose of creating nuclear weapons.

Schumer told Politico Mondaythat he intended "to co-sponsor" Kirk's measure, the Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2015, but he was meeting with his fellow Democrats to figure "out the best strategy."

"We remain hopeful that diplomacy will succeed in reversing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon capability," the letter to Obama said.

"We are Democratic supporters of the Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2015 — a bill that would impose sanctions on Iran only if Iran fails to reach a comprehensive agreement by the June 30 deadline," they explain. "This bill also includes monthly waivers after June 30 to provide additional negotiating flexibility."

The Democrats conclude the letter, saying that they "believe that this bill, as introduced, is reasonable and pragmatic, respects the nuclear negotiating timeline, and sends a strong signal to Iran and to the international community that endless negotiations under the interim agreement are dangerous, unacceptable, and could leave Iran with a threshold nuclear weapon capability."


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A group of ten Senate Democrats told President Barack Obama Tuesday that they will give the administration two months to complete a nuclear deal with Iran before moving forward with voting for a sanctions bill. We remain deeply skeptical that Iran is committed to making...
Iran, negotiations, timeline, sanctions, nuclear
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2015-44-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:44 PM
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