Publishe Date: 9:05 PM - 10/16/2013 | Print

US senators propose suspension of Iran sanctions

Politics - A bipartisan group of US senators have told President Barack Obama in a letter that they are open to suspending the implementation of new sanctions against Iran but only if Tehran takes serious steps to slow its nuclear activities.

The letter signed by some of the most influential Senate voices on foreign policy, was sent to President Obama on Monday, a day before Iran and the six world powers - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany- held talks over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva.

"Iran's first confidence-building action should be full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," the group, led by the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Senator Bob Menendez, said.

The senators proposed a "suspension-for-suspension" plan, in which Iran would suspend its uranium enrichment program and the United States would suspend the implementation of new sanctions.

The letter, signed by 10 senators, including Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham who have repeatedly called for US military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, stressed however that while talks were underway, the threat of military force remained on the table and called on Obama to put more pressure on Iran through existing sanctions.

The Islamic Republic has frequently said that, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it would never abandon its right to peaceful nuclear technology including uranium enrichment.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi stressed Tuesday that the main goal of Geneva talks is the recognition of Iran’s enrichment right and allaying concerns over its nuclear energy program.

The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran. Iran categorically rejects the allegation.


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