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White House: Obama would veto bill that sanctions Iran if it violates nuclear deal

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,John Kerry,Iran,Jay Carney

If Iran violates the terms of the interim agreement regarding the regime's nuclear weapons program, the United States will counter with new sanctions, just like Secretary of State John Kerry promised, right?

"We certainly know it's not necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney said today of Senate legislation that would sanction the Iranians in the event that they break their word. "If it were to pass, the president would veto it."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act with the support of 24 other senators.

“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” Menendez said of the bill.

The bill would seem to comport with Kerry's statements to Congress last week, when he urged the House Foreign Affairs Committee not to pass another round of sanctions against Iran.

“If this doesn’t work, we’re coming back and asking you for more," Kerry said.

Obama's spokesman argued that codifying Kerry's threat in law would undermine the agreement.

"[P]assing new sanctions legislation now will undermine our efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution and greatly increase the chances that the United States would have to take military action," Carney told reporters.

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