Democrats say they won’t support Iran sanctions bill, for now

A group of US Senate Democrats told the White House on Tuesday that they will not support passage of an Iran sanctions bill until at least the end of March.

The decision could halt the march of legislation that would levy more sanctions on Iran if no diplomatic agreement can be reached to prevent Tehran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon. Republicans could still push sanctions legislation — but without Democratic support, Congress would not likely have the votes needed to override a veto threatened by President Barack Obama.

Obama said if there is new sanctions legislation, Iran could walk away from the negotiating table, saying the “United States was operating in bad faith and blew up the deal.” And he said the willingness of America’s international partners to enforce existing sanctions against Iran would wane.

Diplomatic talks have been extended until July, with the goal of reaching a framework for a deal by the end of March.

Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat who drafted the legislation with Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican, said at a Senate banking committee hearing that he and many of his Democratic colleagues had sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying they won’t support passage of the bill until after March 24.

— AP

Most Popular