US appeases Israel over Iran sanctions

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with US VP Joe Biden (R) at the memorial service for the former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon in Israel, January 13, 2014.

US Vice President Joe Biden says Washington is committed to enforcing its “sanctions architecture” against Iran in an attempt to appease Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During his visit to Israel on Monday, Biden briefed Netanyahu on a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the six world powers in November, a top American official said on Tuesday.

“It is safe to say that the issue of ensuring the continued enforcement of the sanctions architecture is an important priority for us, is an important priority for Israel and was a subject of conversation,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Netanyahu, who strongly criticized the interim nuclear accord, is deeply concerned about the easing of tensions between Iran and the United States.

The hawkish premier has repeatedly called on Washington to toughen sanctions and the language of military threat until Tehran dismantles its uranium enrichment program.

The US official also said Biden made clear to the Israeli prime minister that the Obama administration is against a congressional push for new sanctions during talks on a long-term deal with Iran.

A majority of US senators have supported a new Iran sanctions bill that was introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Senator Mark Kirk last month.

The Senate bill initially had the backing of 26 senators, but now 59 members have publically announced support for the measure.

Several important lobby groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are working hard to build support for the measure.

The White House has said President Barack Obama will veto the bill if it passes Congress.

The White House suggested some US lawmakers want the country to attack Iran as they are supporting the sanctions legislation.

Å“If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

Iran has warned that fresh US sanctions against the Islamic Republic will end the nuclear talks.

It is still not clear when the sanctions bill may come to the floor for a vote despite the support in the Senate for the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not pledged to bring the bill to a vote.

“Ain’t coming to the floor any time soon. No matter what Kirk and Menendez say,” a Senate Democratic aide said.


Source: Press TV