Thursday, November 07, 2013
Obama's Push To Loosen Sanctions On Iran Headed Off By A Bi-Partisan Senate Effort
Now here's some good news.
Secretary Kerry and President Obama had been offering the Ayatollahs what they called 'reversible lessened sanctions' as a concession in exchange for Iran showing they were halting progress on their nuclear weapons program. How that was going to be verifiable in a way the West could trust is an open question.
Fortunately, in a rare moment of cooperation Republicans and Democrats in the Senate united in the face of this appeasement to quickly put together a new bill that will tighten sanctions:
The Senate Banking Committee will move ahead with a package of tough new sanctions on Iran after the negotiating session over its nuclear program ends in Geneva on Friday, the committee's chairman said on Thursday.
Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told him to go ahead with the mark-up - or consideration - of the bill, a step toward bringing it to the full Senate for a vote. [...]
"I think Iran has in its power to decide whether or not it faces any more sanctions or whether or not it gets any relief from existing sanctions," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, who also is a member of the banking committee, told Reuters.
But otherwise, he said he felt 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.
..Republican Mark Kirk, a banking panel member, said they might go ahead with a sanctions package even if the banking committee held off.
Kirk and a few other Republicans said they were considering introducing a stiffer package of Iran sanctions as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that is expected to be debated in the Senate during the week of November 18.
If nothing else, this is a signal to both Iran and to the president that the Senate isn't prepared to take the blame for another Munich..not with midterms coming up in a year, anyway.
There's also talk in the House about a bill of their own stiffening sanctions.