Senators press Obama to stand firm on Iran

WASHINGTON — Senators called on President Barack Obama to reiterate that the United States will not accept a nuclear-capable Iran and that crippling economic sanctions on Tehran will continue despite Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s recent overtures to the West.

In two separate letters, top Democrats and Republicans said Obama should use his speech to the U.N. General Assembly this week to restate longstanding U.S. policy that it will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Iranian officials have said their nuclear work is for peaceful purposes.

“Iran must show it is serious about reaching a legitimate diplomatic solution accompanied by full and verifiable compliance. Talks cannot be merely a stalling tactic, while Iran continues to move forward with aggressive enrichment of uranium,” Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote in a letter to Obama.

The two said the U.S. should not relent on sanctions.

“Now is not the time to let up on this pressure,” Schumer and McCain wrote. “Removal of any existing sanctions must depend on Iran’s halting of its nuclear program. Conversely, the continuation or expansion of its nuclear activities will only lead to more sanctions led by the United States and our friends and allies.”

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also sent a letter to Obama pressing him to restate U.S. policy toward Iran.

“Like you, we viewed the election of Hasan Rouhani as an indicator of discontent among the Iranian people and we have taken note of recent diplomatic overtures by Iran,” Menendez and Graham said. “However, whatever nice words we may hear from Mr. Rouhani, it is Iranian action that matters.”

They argued that only a verifiable agreement with Iran over its disputed nuclear weapons program would be credible.

“Iran is not a friend whose word can be taken as a promise,” Menendez and Graham wrote.

Obama arrived in New York on Monday and will address the U.N. on Tuesday. No meeting between Obama and Rouhani is scheduled, but U.S. officials have left open the possibility that the two leaders might talk during the annual international gathering. If it happens, it would be the first meeting of U.S. and Iranian leaders in more than 30 years.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Marilyn Carter (left) is president and Barbara Callaghan is vice president of the AOK Club at Washington Oakes Retirement Community in Everett. Carter personally funds much of the supplies for the club’s annual candy wreath fundraiser so that all sales proceeds can go to local charities. It’s just one of the club’s year-round activities to support local nonprofits. (Melissa Slager / The Daily Herald)
Circles of kindness

Residents of an Everett retirement community create candy wreaths as fundraisers.

County to contribute $1.6M to Everett’s low-barrier housing

The plan appears on track for the council to transfer the land ahead of next month’s groundbreaking.

Most Read