Obama veto threat targets Kirk plan on Iran

  • U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has proposed increased sanctions on Iran should diplomatic talks not hit a summer deadline, but President Barack Obama threatened to veto such a plan in his State of the Union address.

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has proposed increased sanctions on Iran should diplomatic talks not hit a summer deadline, but President Barack Obama threatened to veto such a plan in his State of the Union address. Associated Press

 
 
Posted1/22/2015 1:01 AM

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, said he expects the Senate to move forward with a proposal increasing sanctions on Iran despite President Barack Obama's threat in Tuesday's State of the Union address to veto it.

Obama said in the speech his administration has "halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material."

 

The president says he will veto anything passed by Congress that would impose more stringent penalties on Iran's attempt to increase its nuclear stockpile. New penalties "will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails, alienating America from its allies, making it harder to maintain sanctions, and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again," Obama said.

Kirk is the lead senator on a proposal that would increase sanctions on Iran should talks with the U.S. miss a summer deadline to cut a deal on the country's nuclear future.

"In the next few weeks, I believe we will pass the bipartisan Kirk-Menendez bill to give our children an insurance policy against a nuclear war in the Middle East," Kirk said in a statement.

Rather than impose new sanctions, Obama said he hopes negotiating a comprehensive agreement with Iran will put a halt to their nuclear weapons production while also maintaining a good relationship with our allies, including Israel, and avoiding conflicts in the Middle East.

Kirk argues talks could fail, so sanctions should be put in place in the event that happens.

"I think he should have the strength of character to say that we should have new sanctions on Iran should the talks fail," Kirk said of Obama Monday.

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