J Street Welcomes Sen. Reid Statement on Iran Sanctions

November 21, 2013

As negotiations continue in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran on a first-step agreement to freeze and begin to roll back Iran’s nuclear activities, J Street welcomes the Senate’s decision not to advance new sanctions legislation at this time.

According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Senate will take no action until after the Thanksgiving recess. This should give the Obama Administration and its international partners the time they need to reach this first-step agreement with Iran.

J Street has been urging Senators not to enact new sanctions while the talks with Iran are ongoing for fear of strengthening opponents of a deal in Tehran, undermining the international coalition that built the sanctions and sabotaging the negotiations.

Lawmakers should revisit the issue after an agreement is hopefully reached and assess, with the help of the Administration, whether or not further sanctions may be either warranted or helpful.

We should remember that a diplomatic solution to this crisis remains the only way to avoid one of two nightmare scenarios – either the Iranians develop a bomb or military action becomes inescapable to stop them doing so.