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US Congress urged not to pass any new sanctions on Iran

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 09:42

Washington: The Obama Administration has urged the US Congress to hold off on new sanctions against Iran as this could jeopardise the recently negotiated deal on the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

"We believe that Congress should hold in reserve the option of passing new sanctions if the moment arises when Iran has failed to comply with its agreement and that taking that action would have a positive result, as opposed to the negative result that I just mentioned," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

However, Carney did not say if the President would veto the bill in this regard.
"We strongly oppose and we are engaged in discussions with numerous lawmakers about the passage of new sanctions at this time," he said.

"We strongly believe that passing new sanctions now will result in our international partners, as well as Iran, seeing us as having negotiated that agreement in bad faith, which would then have a bearing on our core sanctions architecture," Carney said in response to a question.

"So the passing of new sanctions during this period would actually undermine the overall core sanctions architecture, which this administration took the lead in building with our international partners and with the essential assistance of Congress," he said.
"Our position, which we have expressed clearly in many meetings with members of Congress, is that the sanctions regime that they helped us build has provided this opportunity, it has succeeded in the sense that the sanctions were designed to pressure Tehran into changing its behaviour.

"And because of the impact of the sanctions, Tehran has changed its behaviour or indicated that it is willing to change its behaviour," he said.

The US had a series of negotiations with the P5-plus-one in Geneva, the result of those negotiations was the preliminary agreement reached by the P5-plus-one with Iran.
"Now foresee implementation of that agreement," he said.

The recent agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, he said is clear what it does and does not do.
"What the President has said and others is that Iran has the right to a peaceful nuclear program. The negotiations over the next six months, if Iran complies with the preliminary agreement, will address a whole host of issues," he said.

"What this President has made clear and his policies have proven out is that he is committed to the fundamental principle that Iran must not have a nuclear weapon, and he has made sure that all options available to him to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon remain on the table, and they remain on the table today," Carney said.

First Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 09:42

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