Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has called for more sanctions against Iran as the latest round of talks in Geneva over the country’s nuclear program ended and another was scheduled for the end of the month. Menendez was joined by Republican Lindsey Graham and other senators who have been gunning for tougher sanctions.
Senate leaders showed bipartisan support Sunday for tougher sanctions on Iran following failed talks this weekend toward curtailing that country’s nuclear-development program, but also indicated they would likely wait until after talking to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry and other Western leaders wrapped up talks Sunday after failing to agree on a deal, which purportedly stalled when France rejected a list of demands on Iran because they were too generous to mean an easing of international sanctions.
Administration officials led by Vice President Joe Biden and including Kerry had persuaded senators late last month to delay considering a new round of penalties until after the Geneva talks.
Kerry joined the talks in Geneva Friday to lower expectations; negotiators on all sides had been cautiously optimistic about reaching a deal earlier this week. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, had warned about Iran getting the “deal of the century.”
Menendez said the US shouldn’t be or appear more interested in a making a deal than Iran in defending the argument for more sanctions.