Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) is poised to file new Iran sanctions legislation on Monday with or without the support of key Democrats who have backed the bill in the past, including Sens. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), according to sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations.
Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator in nuclear talks said this week that the United States must bow to Iran’s “inalienable nuclear rights” and hinted that Western countries are being fooled about the extent of concessions being made by Tehran in talks, according to regional media reports.
A bipartisan group of senators has sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to launch an investigation into the actions of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip.
Lawmakers came out swinging on Thursday afternoon after the State Department issued a blanket denial regarding statements that Secretary of State John Kerry made to members of Congress earlier that morning about the potential need for new sanctions on Iran.
The nation’s leading pro-Israel lobbying group is considering backing new efforts in Congress to pass tighter sanctions on Iran, according to Senate insiders familiar with the issue.
Senate insiders say that senior Treasury Department officials have been lying for years about their backroom efforts to oppose and dismantle Iran sanctions legislation that ultimately forced Tehran to the bargaining table over its illicit nuclear program.
Iran and Russia’s recently announced $20 billion oil-for-goods trade deal has sparked concerns that Moscow is seeking to open up a direct line into Tehran for the import of sanctioned nuclear equipment and military hardware, shipments that would flatly violate the terms of the recently inked interim nuclear deal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D., Nev.) ongoing refusal to permit a vote on new Iran sanctions legislation is drawing the ire of the majority of senators who support the bill.
Iran vowed to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and threatened to boost its uranium enrichment capabilities just hours after announcing that it had agreed to a deal to halt some aspects of its contested nuclear program.
Iranian officials announced the upcoming construction of two new nuclear plants on Saturday, just hours before the United States and Western nations signed a nuclear pact that will allow Iran to continue enriching uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon.