White House presses for delay in Iran sanctions
The Obama administration is pushing congress to delay another round of sanctions on Iran in order to give momentum to negotiations, arguing that sanctions coming out of the committee are counterproductive to the negotiations that are under way.
"Congress has been an important partner in our efforts thus far. We will continue our close consultation, as we have in the past, so that any congressional action is aligned with our negotiating strategy as we move forward," said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.
Some key lawmakers, however, have rejected to support a delay.
"Every day the Senate delays consideration of new sanctions, Iran installs more centrifuges, enriches more uranium and improves its nuclear breakout capability," Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican member of the banking panel, said.
"If Iran is capable of negotiating while violating international law, the United States should be equally capable of negotiating while imposing new sanctions pressure," Kirk said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
The White House confirmed there was a meeting with Senate aides on Thursday, however, refused to give further information on wether the congress will push for further delays.
"Today's meeting is part of these ongoing consultations, following on the recent P5+1 talks with Iran," she said, referring to the six powers - the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Chinaand Russia.