(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two top Democrats said Sunday they expected the Senate would still move forward with enhanced sanctions against Iran, despite news out of Geneva of an interim agreement regarding the Iranian nuclear program.
“As for additional sanctions, this disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December. I intend to discuss that possibility with my colleagues,” New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.
That’s despite explicit pleas from President Barack Obama Saturday night against Congressional action, warning that a new round of sanctions now could derail the talks and undermine the international coalition.
But Schumer’s statement called the interim deal a disappointment.
“It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table, and any reduction relieves the psychological pressure of future sanctions and gives them hope that they will be able to gain nuclear weapon capability while further sanctions are reduced,” Schumer said. “A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability.”
That statement came just after Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez expressed a similar sentiment. Both Menendez and Schumer are senior members of the Senate Banking Committee, which has lead jurisdiction over the sanctions issue.