Give Iran diplomacy a chance: Obama

2014-01-14 07:52
US President Barack Obama. (File, AP)

US President Barack Obama. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - President Barack Obama urged the US Congress to give peace with Iran a chance on Monday, as lawmakers lined up behind new sanctions despite warnings they could doom an interim nuclear deal.

Obama said that the six-month pact due to go into force on 20 January after being concluded at the weekend, offered a "door of opportunity" for Iran to have better relations with the outside world, after decades of deep antagonism with the United States.

But he said that if Iran fails to live up to the terms of the deal, which freezes aspects of its nuclear programme in return for limited sanctions relief, he would support new punitive measures to stop Tehran getting a nuclear weapon.

"My preference is for peace and diplomacy," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office.

"This is one of the reasons why I've sent a message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions. What we want to do is give diplomacy a chance and give peace a chance."

The White House has previously warned that Obama will veto any bill enacted by Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran, fearing it could prompt Tehran to walk away from the negotiating table or undermine its negotiators among regime conservatives back home.

Obama insists

But there are increasing signs that bipartisan support for the bill on Capitol Hill may be nearing the two-thirds majority required to override such a veto.

It is currently unclear if and when the bill will be brought up for a vote in Congress. The president will have a chance to press home his case for a delay in new sanctions when he makes his annual State of the Union address on 28 January.

Lawmakers who support the bill say tough sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and stiffer measures would increase Obama's leverage in talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of world powers.

Obama has insisted that Washington must test Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's willingness to honour a pledge to seek a peaceful nuclear deal, despite opposition from many hawks on Capitol Hill and deep reservations by America's closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel.

His aides say that if new sanctions force the nuclear talks to collapse, Washington could be forced into another war in the Middle East to thwart the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.

Obama stresses that he has not taken the option of using military force off the table, but he has warned that such action may not be decisive and could unleash waves of unintended consequences across the Middle East.

‘Diplomatic insurance policy’

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said new sanctions would have the opposite effect to the one intended by key sponsors, Democratic Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Republican Senator Mark Kirk.

"It could, if they were to do it, actually weaken the sanctions structure that's in place by undermining faith among our international partners and providing Iran the opportunity to say that we have been negotiating in bad faith," Carney said last week.

In a Washington Post editorial, Menendez described the initiative as a "diplomatic insurance policy" against Iran. He said his bill would impose immediate extra sanctions on Iran if it became necessary but would not come into force while "good faith" negotiations were under way.

"Should Iran breach this agreement or fail to negotiate in good faith, the penalties it would face are severe," he wrote.

New sanctions would further target Iranian petroleum products and the mining, engineering and construction sectors.

A senior US administration official told AFP that the first $550m installment of $4.2bn in frozen assets would be released under the interim nuclear deal early next month.

"The installment schedule starts on 1 February and the payments are evenly distributed" across 180 days, the official said.

Analysts say unblocking the funds would breathe new life into the economy and provide much-needed relief across Iran.

Read more on:    hassan rouhani  |  barack obama  |  iran  |  us  |  iran nuclear programme
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL developer

Durbanville
Power-star
R20 000 - R50 000 Per Month

Senior Test Analyst

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Switch Consultants (Pty) Ltd
R38 000 - R42 000 Per Month

HRD Facilitator

Cape Town CBD
Inkokheli Appointments

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.