Friday, November 15, 2013

IRAN - U.S. Congress Should Not Step Up Pressure During Negotiations

"As negotiators ready for Iran talks, Obama asks Congress not to step up pressure" PBS Newshour 11/14/2013


SUMMARY:  President Obama urged Congress to hold off on imposing new sanctions on Iran while negotiations over that nation's nuclear program are in progress.  Margaret Warner joins Gwen Ifill to offer insight on the factors influencing lawmakers, including distrust of Iran, worries about maintaining leverage and pressure from Israel.

GWEN IFILL (Newshour):  President Obama also used his news conference today to warn Congress against imposing new sanctions on Iran while diplomatic options remain.

As the U.S. negotiating team prepares to return to Geneva for a third round of talks next week, administration officials say they can still force Iran to freeze its nuclear program.

At the White House, the president said no new sanctions are needed.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  If in fact we're serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically, because no matter how good our military is, military options are always messy, are always difficult, then there is no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place.

GWEN IFILL:  The behind-the-scenes struggle between the White House and Congress could drive the outcome of the Geneva talks.

Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner says it's been quite a vigorous one.

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