Powered by WebAds

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Democrats about to abandon Obama on Iran?

Democrats are about to abandon President Obama on Iran according to this report from the Washington Post (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The worry is that Dem Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two House Dem, may join with GOP Rep. Eric Cantor on a resolution or bill that will either criticize the current temporary deal with Iran, or call for a new round of sanctions, or set as U.S. policy some strict parameters on a final deal with Iran, such as opposition to any continued uranium enrichment, House Democratic aides say. House Dems and outside foreign policy observers have communicated such worries to Hoyer’s office, sources add.
Hoyer’s office confirmed to me that Cantor had produced a bill and shared it with him, but declined to discuss details. “Cantor has a bill, and it’s being reviewed by our office,” Hoyer spokesperson Stephanie Young said. “No decisions have been made.” Spokespeople for Cantor didn’t respond.
Any resolution or bill along these lines that has the support of any House Dem leaders would increase the pressure on Senate Democrats to pass a measure of their own, which the White House opposes. And some fear that a measure in the House itself — even if the Senate didn’t act — could have an adverse impact on international talks.
According to reports in the Hill and National Journal, Cantor and House GOP leaders are looking for a way to express opposition to, and put obstacles in the way of, the deal the Obama administration is pursuing. But now that a bill has been produced, and could be joined by Hoyer, that significantly ratchets up worries that Congress could very well act in a way that scuttles hopes for a long term deal.
Those wary of a possible Hoyer-Cantor measure point out that the two have previously collaborated on measures relating to U.S. policy in the middle east.
If the GOP-controlled House passes something with the support of someone like Hoyer, it could make it harder for Senate Dems to resist pressure to act. Indeed, it could exacerbate divisions among Senate Dems over how to proceed. It could strengthen the hands of those — such as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Robert Menendez — who want to pass something right now.  Senator Harry Reid appears to want to grant the White House the flexibility it has asked for, but bipartisan movement in the House could intensify the pressure on him to allow a vote on something the White House doesn’t want.
To get an idea of just how bad the current deal is, consider this: Iran is continuing to advance more efficient uranium enrichment technology... and that's completely okay with the current six-month deal. 
Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying that initial testing on a new generation of more sophisticated centrifuges had been completed, underlining Iran's determination to keep refining uranium in what it says is work to make fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants.
Although the development does not appear to contravene the interim agreement struck between world powers and Iran last month, it may concern the West nonetheless, as the material can also provide the fissile core of a nuclear bomb if enriched to a high degree.
"The new generation of centrifuges was produced with a higher capacity compared with the first generation machines and we have completed initial tests," Kamalvandi was quoted as saying.
"The production of a new generation of centrifuges is in line with the (Iranian atomic energy) agency's approach of upgrading the quality of enrichment machines and increasing the rate of production by using the maximum infrastructure facilities".
Kamalvandi said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been informed of the development.
Iran's development of a new generation of centrifuges - machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope - could enable it to refine uranium much faster.
 Things sure have changed a lot since JFK's days, haven't they? What could go wrong?

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home