Obama Struggles to Sell Congress on Iran Talks

Senators Hope to Push Sanctions Within Days

The Obama Administration, having failed to convince AIPAC of the merits of diplomacy with Iran, is now taking its case directly to Congress, urging them to “pause” the imposition of new sanctions on Iran for at least a little while to give the talks a chance.

Since AIPAC isn’t on board, it almost goes without saying that Congressional hawks aren’t on board either, though they still felt the need to reiterate that fact today, with Sen. Bob Corker (R – TN) saying that the administration has “24 to 48 hours” to convince him and others not to impose new sanctions.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R – IL) is reluctant to even wait that long, insisting that the United States is “capable of negotiating while imposing new sanctions” and insisting that the vote should move forward.

While the Obama Administration probably will attempt to negotiate even with new sanctions imposed, they would do dramatic harm to America’s credibility as a negotiating partner, and also major harm to Iran’s reformist president, who is facing opposition from hardliners who believe the US can’t be trusted to keep a deal, and will no doubt use the imposition of new sanctions to underscore that point.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.