Republican senator calls for more sanctions on Iran

Republican senator calls for more sanctions on Iran

Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:33AM

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio has called for additional sanctions on Iran, despite warnings from the Obama administration that they risked derailing nuclear talks.

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program on Sunday, the hawkish lawmaker from Florida said that he doubted that any agreement will come out of the nuclear talks under way between Iran and the P5+1 group — the US, Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany.

“These negotiations that are going on now are really not going to bear fruit,” he said.

Obama has called on the new Republican-controlled Congress not to impose more sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, warning he would veto any such move.

At a press conference on Friday, Obama warned Congress that additional sanctions would torpedo the ongoing nuclear talks with Tehran.

However, Rubio claimed that the reason Iran is at the negotiating table is because of sanctions, adding that for Tehran, the nuclear talks “are nothing but an effort to buy time to gain some sanctions relief.”

Republican lawmakers have threatened to bring an anti-Iran bill to the floor of the US Congress, if the ongoing nuclear talks with Tehran fail.

Republicans in the Senate plan to vote on a bipartisan bill well before Obama’s team finishes the current round of international nuclear negotiations.

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday that the Senate will start debate soon on whether to impose new sanctions against Iran.

Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 states wrapped up their latest round of talks on Tehran’s nuclear program in Geneva on Sunday.

Following five days of closed-door negotiations in Geneva, Tehran and the six states agreed to resume the discussions on Iran’s nuclear energy program next month.

The two sides are yet to decide the date and location of their next round of talks.

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