John Kerry Says Slapping Fresh Sanctions on Iran Would Be Mistake

Plans To Warn Congress To Give Nuke Talks a Chance

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Secretary of State John Kerry will tell U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday it would be a mistake for Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran now amid talks with Tehran over its nuclear program, the State Department said.

Kerry wants a “temporary pause” on new sanctions to allow diplomats from six world powers, including the United States, to negotiate with Iran and to test whether it may be possible to resolve a 10-year standoff over the Iranian nuclear program, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Negotiations over the weekend between Iran and the major powers failed to reach an agreement on curbing the program, which Washington and its allies believe may be designed to develop nuclear weapons - something Tehran denies.

Psaki said Kerry will counsel a go-slow approach on Wednesday when he briefs the Senate Banking Committee, a key congressional panel in drafting Iran sanctions legislation.

“The secretary will be clear that putting new sanctions in place would be a mistake while we are still determining if there is a diplomatic path forward,” Psaki said at her daily briefing.

“What we are asking for right now is a pause, a temporary pause, in sanctions,” she added. “This is about ensuring that our legislative strategy and our negotiating strategy are running hand in hand.”

Negotiations between Iran and the six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - broke off without an agreement and officials are scheduled to return to Geneva for a second round of talks on Nov. 20.

During the negotiations, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris could not accept a “fool’s game” - in other words, one-sided concessions to Iran.

Diplomats from other Western nations at first reacted angrily, accusing the French of trying to upstage the other powers and causing unnecessary trouble for the talks.

On Monday though, Kerry said the major powers were unified on Saturday when they presented a proposal to the Iranians, and suggested it was the Iranians who were unable to accept the proposal on the table without consulting with Tehran.

“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal. There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment, they weren’t able to accept that particular thing,” Kerry told reporters.

The White House on Tuesday echoed Kerry’s position that world powers were united in their effort to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran in spite of signs of a split.

“We remain united,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at his daily briefing, adding that any deal would be one that “absolutely meets our standards” that would be a verifiable way to ensure Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon.

“We need to pursue this. We need to see if Iran is serious,” Carney said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.