The New York Times reports: With the United States and Iran about to embark on a critical phase of nuclear talks, President Obama is waging an intense rear-guard action to prevent Senate Democrats from supporting strict new sanctions that could upend his diplomatic efforts.
Sponsors of the bill, which would aim to drive Iran’s oil exports down to zero, have secured the backing of 59 senators, putting them within striking distance of a two-thirds majority that could override Mr. Obama’s threatened veto. Republicans overwhelmingly support the bill. So far 16 Democrats have broken with the president, and the bill’s sponsors hope to get more.
The struggle is casting a long shadow over the talks, which administration officials say will be even harder than those that resulted in the six-month interim agreement, signed Sunday, that will temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief.
Iranian officials have threatened to leave the bargaining table if the United States enacts any new sanctions during the negotiations.
The White House has cast the issue in stark terms, saying that a vote for new sanctions would be, in effect, a “march toward war” and challenging those lawmakers who support the bill to acknowledge publicly that they favor military action against Iran.
“It just stands to reason if you close the diplomatic option, you’re left with a difficult choice of waiting to see if sanctions cause Iran to capitulate, which we don’t think will happen, or considering military action,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. [Continue reading…]
I am just tired of us. In 72 yrs, I have gone from devout believer to what a vicious monster we are.
I second that, Eugene. The country I used to admire now has nothing admirable to boast of. Perhaps it’s time that the rest of the world slapped some sanctions if their own, if not on the US state—at least on the travel of the warmongers.
Let’s make it 3 in a row. I just turned 75, and believe it’s time that every last individual who wants war with Iran instead of peace, gets kicked out of the country, permanently, without the right of return. After all, isn’t that what the Israelis Netanyahoo demands in any peace accord with the Palestinians. Perhaps Netanyahoo will set up settlements in the out back, around their Nuclear hole in the ground, dimona!