Obama Looking After His “Nuclear Legacy” Not Iran’s Threat (Daniel 3)

War threat on Iran ‘heightened’ if nuclear talks fail, Obama warns

What Nobel Peace Prize?

What Nobel Peace Prize?

WASHINGTON – New congressional action against Iran would blow up an international diplomatic effort to stop their nuclear program through peaceful means, US President Barack Obama said on Friday, in a pointed warning to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Joined by British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House, Obama said he would veto any new legislation that would “undercut,” “undermine” and “set back” the nuclear talks, now a year old and facing a deadline in March for diplomats to reach a political agreement.

Leaders in Congress, now united under Republican control, are preparing a bill that would trigger new sanctions against Iran should the negotiations fail. The working draft of the bill, they argue, does not impose new sanctions during the talks.

But the Iranians wouldn’t interpret the bill that way, Obama said. The result, he said, would be a collapse in talks with the United States to blame, and the chances of a “military showdown” suddenly amplified.

“There would be some sympathy to that view around the world, which means that the sanctions that we have in place now would potentially fray,” Obama added.

“Congress should be aware that if this diplomatic solution fails, then the risks and likelihood that this ends up being at some point a military confrontation is heightened,” he added. “And Congress will have to own that, as well.”

The White House seeks a deal that would cap and roll back key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, if not fully dismantle the vast infrastructure currently in place. From a strategic standpoint, the administration seeks to place the onus of a diplomatic failure on the Iranians – a strategy compromised by congressional action.

Cameron said he respected the sovereignty of Congress and would not lobby lawmakers, answering a reporter’s question on whether he had made individual calls to US senators on the matter.
But he also made clear that the United Kingdom opposes any new sanctions measure from Washington.

The talks require “the space for negotiations to succeed,” he said, adding that the timing was wrong for new sanctions measures.

Obama, once again, put the chances of success at the negotiating table at “less than 50-50,” and said, “if Iran cannot say yes…then we’re going to have to explore other options.”

Sanctions are “not the only option,” he continued, in a series of references to the prospect of force.
“I will veto a bill that comes to my desk,” he said, asking lawmakers “to hold off for a few months to see if we have the possibility of solving a big problem without resorting, potentially, to war.

“If I’m not persuading Congress,” he added, “I promise you, I’ll be taking my case to the American people on this.”

Answering a follow-up question from a reporter on the matter, he tampered down his rhetoric on the potential for military confrontation.

“I am not, repeat not, suggesting we are on an immediate war footing should negotiations with Iran fail,” he said.

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AFP Jan. 17, 2015 at 09:05pm

US President Barack Obama on Friday urged Congress not to impose new sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, threatening to veto any such legislation that lands on his desk.

Obama told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron that Iran was already chafing under existing sanctions and had not accelerated its program, and that he would strongly urge Congress not to torpedo the ongoing talks with Tehran.

 “Congress needs to show patience,” Obama said.

“We’ll see how persuasive I am. But if I’m not persuading Congress, I promise you, I’m going to be taking my case to the American people on this,” he warned.

Obama has faced mounting calls from Republican critics for tougher new sanctions on Iran, with lawmakers saying a debate on more stringent measures could take place in the US Senate within weeks.

But new sanctions would “jeopardize the possibility of… providing a diplomatic solution to one of the most difficult and long-lasting national security problems that we’ve faced in a very long time,” Obama said.

“I will veto a bill that comes to my desk.”

Cameron also spoke out against calls for further sanctions on Iran, saying negotiations needed “space” to succeed.

“We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon,” Cameron said.

“The best way to achieve that now is to create the space for negotiations to succeed. We should not impose further sanctions now.”

Iran and major world powers have given themselves until late June to reach a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, a goal it denies having, in return for an easing of punishing economic sanctions.

A flurry of talks have been held this week, including meetings in Paris on Friday between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his French and US counterparts.

Both sides have remained relatively tight-lipped about whether any progress is being made, but France said Friday that “significant” questions must be answered before a deal can be struck.

Sunday will see fresh talks in Geneva between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group—the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia—seeking to break a stalemate that has seen two earlier deadlines pass without an accord.

However, Republicans in the United States are seeking to shape US policy on Iran by two paths being crafted in Congress.

One tactic envisages adoption of a bill requiring Obama to submit any nuclear accord reached with Iran to Congress for approval.

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Iran to resume unlimited uranium enrichment in case of new sanctions

Iranian Centrifuge Surge

Iranian Centrifuge Surge

Jan 15 2015 | Zawya

If the west imposes new sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic will resume uranium enrichment at the levels over five percent, the Iranian parliament speaker, Ali Larijani said.

The Iranian MPs have a plan for enriching uranium in every level, which will come into force, if the western side takes new steps to impose sanctions, Larijani said, Iran ‘s Fars news agency reported Jan. 15.

“Our enemies should understand that they can not play political tricks against Iran,” Larijani said. “Iranian decision-makers are aware of the issues.”

Last January, Hossein Sheikholeslam, an advisor to Larijani on international affairs said that Iranian parliament has a trump card in case the US imposes new sanctions on Iran.

“The parliament of Iran has a plan to enrich uranium up to 60 percent, and until today, 218 members of the parliament have signed this document,” he said. “If new sanctions on Iran are issued, the parliament will approve the document.”

The Larijani’s new statement shows that the Islamic Republic continues to use the “trump card” against any possible new sanctions.

Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reached a nuclear agreement on November 24, 2013 for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities including 20 percent uranium enrichment.

While commenting about the future of the nuclear talks, Larijani said the western side should avoid political bargaining and follow a realistic approach to achieve a final nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group have been extended until July 1, 2015 to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif and his US counterpart, John Kerry held a meeting in Geneva on Jan. 14 aimed at accelerating pace of the new negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group.

A fresh round of the Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks is scheduled for Jan. 18 in Geneva.

© Trend News Agency 2015