POLITICS: White House

Marco Rubio moves to bar President Obama from easing Iran sanctions

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Beltway Confidential,White House,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Marco Rubio,Democratic Party,Iran,State Department

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., hopes to convert Democratic frustration with President Obama's negotiating position regarding Iran into a congressional resolution that would prevent the White House team from easing sanctions on the Islamic regime.

"I hope the entire Senate will unite behind this effort to make clear to Iran that the sanctions that have brought them to the negotiating table will only be strengthened should Iran remain unwilling to completely end its nuclear program, including enrichment and reprocessing, and provide information about its work on weaponization of a nuclear device,” Rubio said as he unveiled a resolution designed to pre-empt Obama's negotiating strategy.

The Florida senator's resolution comes as Democrats also openly warned Obama against prematurely easing sanctions on Iran.

"They've got a long way to go to demonstrate the kind of credibility that would lead us to believe we can move in a conciliatory direction," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told The Cable when asked about Iran. "And sanctions are what has strengthened the administration's hand."

Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who leads the campaign arm of the House Democratic caucus, added that "if the president were to ask for a lifting of existing sanctions, it would be extremely difficult in the House and Senate to support that."

Far from yielding to Iranian requests for relief, the Rubio resolution would increase sanctions on the regime.

"Congress should move to adopt additional sanctions until Iran has demonstrably abandoned its nuclear weapons program, including any enrichment or reprocessing capability, and has provided complete transparency to the International Atomic Energy Agency," the press release for the resolution explains.

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