*82* Senators send Obama a letter outlining acceptable terms for Iran
President Hussein Obama may be willing to let Iran have a nuclear capability, but 82 Senators feel otherwise. They are sending a letter to the President this week outlining what they believe to be acceptable terms
Eighty-two senators – 41 Republicans and 41 Democrats – say they hope
diplomatic efforts with Iran succeed in Vienna over the next four
months – but also call for the “rapid and dramatic” expansion of
sanctions if negotiations fail.
The letter began circulating less than two weeks ago, and has attracted 76 signatories since its release. Senate aides told The Jerusalem Post the letter will be sent to the White House early this week.
source with a pro-Israel organization characterized the letter’s
message as “a very significant statement of Senate policy in that it
specifies the core principles in final agreement.”
“We believe that Iran has no inherent right to enrichment under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” the letter reads. “We believe any
agreement must dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program and prevent it
from ever having a uranium or plutonium path to a nuclear bomb.”
letter also calls for the closure of Fordow, Arak and Parchin – key
facilities in Iran’s nuclear program – in its list of demands.
Obama administration has entered negotiations with a similar list,
though senior officials are not demanding the full dismantlement of
Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
On a conference call with
reporters on Friday, one senior administration official said the White
House is willing to tolerate a small, highly regulated Iranian nuclear
program that is guaranteed peaceful through strict verification and
The language of the letter does not explicitly
rule out these terms: It calls on Iran’s nuclear weapons program to be
fully dismantled, not necessarily all of its nuclear work.
The Senators' letter is very mice, but it's kind of like closing the barn door after the cow has escaped. While US Secretary of State John FN Kerry told the Senate this week that Iran is not open for business
, the facts suggest otherwise. The sanctions are gone and Iran is bringing in millions of dollars
Various outlets have focused in recent days on specific sectors being
eyed by investors as Iranian markets are reopened to the world under
the terms of the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPA), even as President
Barack Obama on Wednesday extended some sanctions after informing Congress that
the Islamic Republic “continue[d] to pose an unusual and extraordinary
threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that
“global steelmakers have Iran in their sights,” and described “a steel
conference last month in Tehran to study export opportunities and
investing” that had been attended by roughly 45 producers.
The Wall Street Journal had noted on
Tuesday that some investors viewed Iran as “Turkey with oil,” and that
there was a growing consensus that those who managed to “get in early”
would profit substantially. The characterizations risk reinforcing the long-expressed concerns of
analysts who worried that the JPA would trigger a gold rush that would
all but collapse the post-JPA international sanctions regime.
Congressional efforts to counter the potential for such a downward
spiral have been stymied by heavy administration pressure.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry