Fresh sanctions on Iran could undermine U.S. efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to Tehran’s nuclear program, the White House warned Congress on Tuesday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney also warned a coalition of senators who are skeptical of a deal between Iran and world powers struck last month, saying that any more sanctions on Iran would be seen as a show of “bad faith” by U.S. allies.
“Passing any new sanctions right now will undermine our efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to this issue by giving the Iranians an excuse to push the terms of the agreement on their side,” Carney said.
“Furthermore, new sanctions are unnecessary right now because our core sanctions architecture remains in place, and the Iranians continue to be under extraordinary pressure.
“If we pass sanctions now, even with the deferred trigger, which has been discussed, the Iranians and likely our international partners will see us as having negotiated in bad faith.”
Several groups of Republican and Democratic senators are working to reconcile various different sanctions measures, believing that they would strengthen Obama’s hand in negotiations.
Last month, the deal signed between Iran and six world powers stipulated the freezing aspects of Iran’s nuclear program in return for a slight easing of the sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.
Carney said if the interim deal is not translated into a final pact that Iran abides by, the White House would support new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Bernadette Meehan, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said that the United States did not recognize that Iran has “a right to enrich” and that such a right was not included in the deal reached in Geneva last month, according to comments carried by Agence France-Presse.
“We are prepared to negotiate a strictly limited enrichment program in the end state, but only because the Iranians have indicated for the first time in a public document that they are prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on scope, capacity, and stockpiles,” she said.
“If we can reach an understanding on all of these strict constraints then we could have an arrangement that includes a very modest amount of enrichment that is tied to Iran’s practical needs and that eliminates any near-term breakout capacity.”