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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remember this? It's coming again

Two years ago, Senator Robert Menendez smacked down the Obama administration for opposing sanctions against Iran.

Let's go to the videotape.

With the Obama administration gearing up to oppose a Senate bill being promoted by Menendez to increase sanctions against Iran, it looks like another battle between Menendez and Obama on Iran could be brewing.
"We asked for a pause, to provide flexibility, of new sanctions," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. "We believe that congressional action needs to be aligned with our negotiating strategy."
Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, where they will brief Senate leadership behind closed doors on developments with Iran in an effort to dissuade them from moving forward with the bill.
The Senate legislation targets roughly half of what remains of Iran's oil exports, cutting their sales of crude to less than 500,000 barrels a day. That is a significant reduction from what was proposed in a bill that passed the House of Representatives last August, which would cut virtually all of Iran's remaining exports down to zero.
The White House has urged legislators to water down the bill, but concurrently aims to delay its passage. If given a vote, the bill would likely pass with bipartisan support.
Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and an active proponent of the new penalties, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday that the Senate would only consider halting additional sanctions if Iran completely froze its uranium enrichment work.
"We can’t want a deal more than the Iranians and we can’t be so anxious for a deal that we weaken our hand at a moment when we hold the best cards," Menendez said. 
"When I began this drive, I was told that it wouldn’t work– that other nations wouldn’t comply, and that you couldn’t force Iran back to the table," Menendez said. "The fact is they were wrong then and they are wrong now."
Will any other Democrats come to Menendez's side?

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