The U.S. Senate needs to step up and protect our allyIsrael. Today, leaders in the Senate will be briefed on the Obama Administration’snegotiations on Iran’s nuclear capability. Tackling the issue of Iran’s nuclearweapons program is imminent, and delay could harm long-term goals of peace inthe Middle East.
Negotiations between Iran and the “P5+1,” a group made upof the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council - theUnited States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia - plus Germany, resumed inGeneva in October. Despite efforts toward a solution that all countriesinvolved could accept, no deal was made. Nor should it, if an agreement wasmade off of the proposed deal, the U.S. would release its current sanctionsagainst Iran in exchange for the suspension of key parts of Iran’s nuclearprogram. After seven years of worn-out negotiations, and Iran now closer thanever to nuclear capability, the administration is now set to “try again.”
It seems a united path forward remains far off. As aresult, members in the Senate have urged for stricter sanctions, new economicpenalties to ensure Iran does not gain nuclear capability.
Currently, the Obama Administration is pressuring theSenate to wait on U.N. negotiations. Although some within the Chamber areskeptical and feel the correct measure to take would be to increase sanctions, othershave delayed making a decision until after they have time to process theinformation offered by Secretary of State John Kerry, who will be meeting withMembers of the Banking Committee today.
Iran already has U.S. sanctions implemented, butcontinues to move ahead with its nuclear weapons program. A nuclear-armed Iranis not only a threat to our ally Israel but to the region.
Will the Senate implement additional sanctions on Iran?
Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), Chairman of the BankingCommittee, said that his committee will not move forward with sanctions towardIran until the Senate has fully processed today’s briefing. Despite this, senatorswho are appropriately urging for additional sanctions, like Sen. Mario Rubio(R-Florida), may not have to wait for the committee. The National DefenseAuthorization Act (NDAA) will likely be the next order of business for thechamber. This elevates the likelihood of senators deliberating sanctions asearly as next week.
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweetedout, “No reason to submit to Iranian diktat or to be hasty. Iran is under harsheconomic pressure, and the advantage is with those applying it.” It is safe toassume “those applying it” refers to the United States and its currentsanctions.
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’sCEO and President, Penny Nance, calls for “at minimal, the continuation ofcurrent levels of sanctions if and until Iran fully agrees and acts to halt itsnuclear program, particularly its centrifuge manufacturing. To do lessis, as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, an ‘historic mistake.’ We concur. Our nation may be able to repeal disastrous domestic policy, but anuclear-armed Iran is forever. CWALAC continues to believe we have amoral and strategic obligation to stand united in efforts to protect the safetyof the nation of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.”