New Iran sanctions would be a mistake - Gates

2014-01-17 11:05
Former defence secretary Robert Gates. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

Former defence secretary Robert Gates. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

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

kalahari.com

Washington - Proposals by US lawmakers to impose new sanctions against Iran would be a mistake that would sabotage a possible diplomatic deal with Tehran, former Pentagon chief Robert Gates warned on Thursday.

"I think that the president's opposition to a bill that would impose additional sanctions now is absolutely right", Gates said at an event highlighting his newly released memoir.

"To vote additional sanctions today would be I think a deal-killer", said Gates, who served as defence secretary under President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W Bush.

The Obama administration has lobbied against a push by some members of Congress to introduce additional economic sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, saying it would undermine recent diplomatic progress after Tehran agreed to a six-month interim accord.

"As hard as it may be for people to realise, what we may be seeing is the success of the sanctions effort done by president [Bill] Clinton, intensified by president Bush and even more so by president Obama, to force the Iranians to come to the table because of economic hardships", Gates said.

"I think we have succeeded to the extent that we now have the Iranians at the table."

He pointed to the clear effect of economic pressure on the Islamic republic.

Easing of sanctions

The former CIA director did say he favoured a mechanism, either through legislation or a "formal commitment" that if talks fail, Iran would face even more drastic economic penalties than those in place before the interim deal.

"It could be a negotiating asset for the administration in terms of telling the Iranians if you roll us for six months, or slow-roll us for some period beyond that and we don't end up with an agreement that meets our needs, you'll not just go back to the status quo ante but you will face a situation that is even more dire", he said.

Gates, a Republican with a reputation as a hard-nosed pragmatist when it comes to foreign policy, reiterated his view that bombing Iran's nuclear facilities would not eliminate the programme and merely set it back by a few years.

But he said it was not at all assured that the current interim deal would lead to a full-fledged agreement with Iran, given the need to persuade Tehran to abandon a possible nuclear weapons capability.

"I think it's a steep hill because the only acceptable agreement for the longer term is one that rolls back the Iranian programme from allowing Iran to be a nuclear weapons threshold state", he said.

And an agreement would have to provide "intrusive enough inspections that ensures that if they decide to violate the agreement, we have ample time to react militarily or in other ways".

The current interim deal, between major powers and Iran, allows for a modest easing of sanctions in return for a freeze on some parts of Tehran's nuclear programme.

It also calls for a timetable of inspections of nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Read more on:    un  |  iaea  |  barack obama  |  robert gates  |  us  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme
NEXT ON NEWS24X
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
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

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

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers 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

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...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.