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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bipartisan group of Senators: 'Oh no they can't enrich'

It looks like the 112th Congress is going to keep a much closer watch on the Obama administration's foreign policy than the 111th did. Following remarks by Secretary of State Clinton in Bahrain that Iran has the right to enrich uranium domestically for civilian purposes if they can do so transparently and responsibly, a bipartisan group of Senators has sent a letter to President Obama throwing down the gauntlet on his further attempts to 'engage' Iran.
But in a letter (PDF) to President Barack Obama to be delivered on Monday -- but obtained in advance by The Cable -- Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) said that the administration should make clear to Iran that domestic enrichment is not an option.

“We believe that it is critical that the United States and our partners make clear that, given the government of Iran’s pattern of deception and non-cooperation, its government cannot be permitted to maintain any enrichment or reprocessing activities on its territory for the foreseeable future,” the senators wrote. “We would strongly oppose any proposal for a diplomatic endgame in which Iran is permitted to continue these activities in any form.”

The senators also told Obama they want the administration to make clear to Iran that sanctions and other pressures will increase during the negotiations. They also wrote that the administration should not be fooled into accepting “confidence building measures” as substitutes for real negotiations.

Overall, the letter sets down a marker to Obama to remind him that, as the administration heads down the engagement track with Iran once again, Congress will be watching and waiting to criticize any perceived weakness or concession. The negotiations may be taking place in Geneva, but the Obama team has to always keep one eye on Capitol Hill.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm beginning to think the next two years could be fun.

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At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Senate can stand by Israel if the Obami revert to form and try to mask submission to Iranian exploitation of sanction weakness by muscling Israel privately or at the UN to submit to unilateral Palestinian demands and whining, now that the freezamacyclethingamajigger is melting melting melting:

(Jpost): "The US and Israel will announce on Tuesday night that negotiations to renew the moratorium on building in West Bank settlements have failed, Channel Two reported.

According to the report, Israel will not receive F-35 fighter jets or other benefits from the US in exchange for a freeze, and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will, in the mean time, not be renewed."

The Palis can engage in their usual diplomatic backstabbing and treachery if Bibi stays at home to do something useful.


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