U.S. top diplomat urges Congress to go slow on sanctions against Iran

U.S. top diplomat urges Congress to go slow on sanctions against Iran
# 14 November 2013 03:40 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked lawmakers not to impose tougher sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, fearing they could jeopardize the ongoing diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear activities, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"The risk is that if Congress were to unilaterally move to raise sanctions, it could break faith with those negotiations and actually stop them and break them apart," Kerry told reporters before briefing U.S. senators on the issue.

The U.S. top diplomat urged more patience before putting tougher sanctions in place. "Let's give them a few weeks, see if it works," he said. "If this doesn't work, we reserve the right to dial back up the sanctions."

"Putting new sanctions in place could not only end the negotiations, but it would send the absolutely wrong message to the international community that we're not serious about pursuing a diplomatic path," Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The spokesperson also warned of potential war if diplomatic solutions do not work.

"The consequences of not moving forward with a diplomatic path is potentially aggression, potentially conflict, potentially war," she said. "That's why the secretary feels so strongly about pursuing a diplomatic path."

The Senate Banking Committee is mulling new sanctions against Iran and some members of the Senate are strongly rejecting a delay in a new round of sanctions.

"I do think we ought to accelerate sanctions," said Senator Mark Kirk, adding that the U.S. is yielding a large and bloody conflict in the Middle East involving Iranian nuclear weapons.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany, ended Saturday in Geneva without an agreement. Officials from the two sides will resume negotiations on Nov. 20.