Senate panel to move ahead with Iran sanctions

A US Senate panel will move ahead with a new round of sanctions against Iran after the negotiating session over its nuclear program ends in Geneva on Friday.

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) , chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said Thursday that the leader of Senate Democrats had asked him to go ahead with the consideration of the bill.

“We’ll wait until the Geneva meeting is over with, but I talked to Harry Reid about it yesterday and he wants to mark up,” Johnson told Reuters outside the Senate chamber.

After the mark-up, the bill can be brought to the full Senate for a vote.

This comes as the White House has offered to ease the sanctions as Iran and six major world powers started a new round of talks on Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday. The negotiations will continue on Friday in the Swiss city.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, an architect of Iran sanctions, also said the sanctions should go ahead.

“I just don’t understand a negotiating posture that suggests that we should stop pursuing a course of action that at least brought Iran to the table while they continue to enrich,” he said.

In addition, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee is considering legislation that would prevent President Obama from reducing the sanctions on Iran.

“We’ve crafted an amendment to freeze the administration in and make it so they are unable to reduce the sanctions unless certain things occur,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told The Daily Beast in an interview Wednesday.

The legislation would freeze the Obama administration’s ability to waive sanctions currently in place unless Tehran agrees to stop all enrichment and reprocessing activities.

The Corker’s plan could complicate the administration’s efforts to use incremental measures, including some sanctions relief for Iran, as a means of continuing the nuclear talks into next year.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Geneva on Thursday that Tehran and six world powers were making progress in the talks and that a deal was “possible.”

“If all parties make efforts, we could reach an agreement in the negotiations in Geneva,” the top Iranian diplomat told reporters in the Swiss city.

By Press TV


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