Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

White House lobbies against new sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON — As much as any other foreign policy issue during President Barack Obama's five years in office, the question of Iran sanctions finds him at odds with a hefty portion of his own party's lawmakers, as well as most Republicans.

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to forge agreement on a new sanctions bill that they hope to pass before Christmas.

The administration believes the legislation could scuttle the interim nuclear agreement reached with Iran on Nov. 23 and derail forthcoming negotiations on a permanent deal to ensure that Iran will never be able to build a nuclear weapon.

The administration contends that new sanctions would not only violate the terms of the interim deal — which temporarily freezes Iran's nuclear programs and modestly eases existing sanctions — but also could divide the United States from its international negotiating partners across the table from Iran and give the upper hand to Iranian hard-liners in the talks.

"The purpose of sanctions from the outset was to create a dynamic so that you can get a change in policy from the Iranians," said David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "It's not sanctions for the sake of having sanctions."

The White House has been pressing lawmakers not to act. In addition to briefings for anyone who wants one, Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, national security adviser Susan Rice and other top officials are making personal calls. Kerry said he sent a video to his former Capitol Hill colleagues explaining the deal, "because some people are putting out some misinformation on it."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., one of the leading proponents of new sanctions, said he wonders what all the fuss is about.

"From my perspective, it strengthens the administration's hand" and positions the United States "for the possibility that (a permanent) agreement cannot ultimately be struck," Menendez said of a new sanctions bill. "It would make clear to the Iranians if they don't strike a deal, this is what's coming."

"I find it interesting that the Iranians can play good cop, bad cop with 'hard-liners' in their country," he added, while "we can't."

White House lobbies against new sanctions on Iran 12/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 2, 2013 1:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  2. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery

    Ml

    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Busted: How a Times photographer captured Donald Trump's fake news

    Blogs

    Tampa Bay Times photojournalist Scott Keeler was on assignment last summer for a story about Donald Trump’s presence in Palm Beach, a tale of glamour and conflict. Along the way he inadvertently captured evidence of a …

    Near the main entrance at Mar-a-Lago, the fake Time magazine cover is on display in July 2016.
  5. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a hockey game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]