first, rough note from FNC’s Ed Henry:
“This is a huge story b/c several top Democrats are breaking ranks with the President, who had urged them NOT to move forward with new sanctions against Iran b/c it could blow up the administration’s efforts to get a nuclear deal with Iran
Fox also has three sources telling us that WH chief of staff Denis McDonough and other top officials have been calling top Dems in last 24 hours begging that they NOT move forward with this … but they did it anyway..”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 19, 2013
Twenty-Six Senators Introduce the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act
Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 Proposes Prospective Sanctions on Iran if the Regime Breaches the Joint Plan of Action or Fails to Conclude a Final Agreement,
Provides Flexibility to Pursue a Diplomatic Track
Senators Call for a Final Agreement that Verifiably Results in the Termination of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program, Prevents Iran from Achieving a Nuclear Weapon Capability
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), joined by 24 U.S. Senators, introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, bipartisan legislation proposing prospective sanctions on Iran should the regime violate the interim Joint Plan of Action agreed to in Geneva or should Iran fail to reach a final agreement.
The legislation was co-sponsored by twenty-six senators, including: Senators Menendez, Kirk, Schumer, Graham, Cardin, McCain, Casey, Rubio, Coons, Cornyn, Blumenthal, Ayotte, Begich, Corker, Pryor, Collins, Landrieu, Moran, Gillibrand, Roberts, Warner, Johanns, Hagan, Cruz, Donnelly, and Blunt.
The prospective sanctions legislation requires further reductions in purchases of Iranian petroleum and applies additional penalties to strategic elements of the Iranian economy, to include the engineering, mining and construction sectors.
Simultaneously, it gives the Administration continued flexibility and up to one year from the conclusion of an implementing agreement to pursue a diplomatic track resulting in the complete and verifiable termination of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.
“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” said Sen. Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Iranians last week blamed the Administration for enforcing sanctions; now, they criticize Congress. The burden rests with Iran to negotiate in good faith and verifiably terminate its nuclear weapons program. Prospective sanctions will influence Iran’s calculus and accelerate that process toward achieving a meaningful diplomatic resolution.”
“The American people rightfully distrust Iran’s true intentions and they deserve an insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception during negotiations,” Sen. Kirk said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan bill to protect the American people from Iranian deception and I urge the Majority Leader to give the American people an up or down vote.”