Several United States senators have decided not to push for new sanctions on Iran following US President Barack Obama’s threat Tuesday to veto any sanctions bill.
The AFP news agency quoted senators who said they will no longer vote for a proposed sanctions bill. The bill would have imposed new sanctions on Iran if Iranian leaders were to violate the terms of an interim agreement with Western powers, or walk away from negotiations.
“I am strongly supporting the bill but I think a vote is unnecessary right now,” explained Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Senator Chris Coons agreed, saying, “Now is not the time for a vote on an Iran sanctions bill.”
Obama had warned in his State of the Union address Tuesday that further sanctions could derail ongoing negotiations with Iran. Negotiations are the best chance to peacefully prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, he argued.
He assured his audience that the negotiations would aim for “verifiable action” and would not be based on trust alone.
Former CIA Director General David Petraeus said Thursday that Obama would use force against Iran if negotiations were to fall through. Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, Petraeus said Obama “will not hesitate” to use military force if he believes it is the only way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.