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Lawmakers: Kerry floats new sanctions on Iran

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint news conference in Cairo, June 22, 2014. (photo by REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski)

US Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers July 17 that passing new triggered sanctions on Iran might help unlock a nuclear deal, a complete reversal from the policy of the President Barack Obama administration until now, several House Democrats of different ideological stripes told Al-Monitor.

Kerry made the remarks at a State Department meeting with a group of Jewish lawmakers who are regularly briefed on issues pertaining to Israel. He discussed the likely need for an extension of the negotiations of up to four months as well as the Israel-Gaza conflict. He made it clear that he was just floating ideas, several lawmakers said, and had not gotten Obama to sign off on them.

“He said it might be useful as a spur,” one lawmaker said. “But he said he hadn’t checked with the White House.”

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