Obama appeals to key senators to hold off on more sanctions against Iran
During a two-hour meeting with top Democrats and Republicans from the Senate’s Banking, Foreign Relations, Armed Service and Intelligence committees on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama appealed to Senators to temporarily halt voting for additional sanctions against Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who himself had a meeting last week with the Senate’s Banking Committee on the issue, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, attended the meeting.
The White House’s campaign seemed to have been successful as a number of Senators said following the meeting the bill will not be put to a vote until at least after the Thanksgiving holiday in early December and probably after the result of talks are determined.
Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker and Senator John McCain said later on Tuesday that the sanctions were not expected to go through soon.
“The president has asked for some time for this to be negotiated and see if Iran will live up to the obligations,” Corker said.
The US Senate Banking Committee has been mulling whether to move ahead with the new anti-Iran sanctions bill, which it had delayed before the recent round of the nuclear talks on November 7-10.
Several hawkish Republicans, skeptical of the US administration’s policy toward Iran and frustrated with the Banking Committee’s delay, were considering proposing new sanctions against Iran as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the Senate next week.
However, Adam Sharon, a spokesman for Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee Senator Robert Menendez, toldAl-Monitor on Tuesday that vote on the NDAA amendment “will bleed over into the second week of December when we return from recess.”
Iran and the sextet, the US, Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and China, will resume the nuclear talks in Geneva on Wednesday.