White House suggests Iran sanctions bill could draw U.S. into war
By Paul Richter
January 10, 2014
WASHINGTON — The White House launched a harsh attack on supporters of a Senate bill to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, suggesting that they have a hidden goal of drawing the country into another Mideast war.
If supporters “want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American people and say so,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to continue.”
The White House argues that by driving Iran from the bargaining table, the tough new sanctions bill could undermine international negotiations aimed at an agreement to ensure that Tehran’s nuclear program remains peaceful. Many nations fear that Iran, despite its denials, seeks a nuclear weapon capability.
Iran and six major foreign powers, including the U.S., signed an interim deal in November that eases some sanctions and limited the Iranian nuclear program while the two sides pursue a full deal.
The White House statement, issued late Thursday, was the first time the administration had accused sanctions advocates of a concealed agenda.
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