SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- A powerful pro-Israel lobby in the United States is pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran in response to a deal that extended nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers.
AIPAC, a widely influential group in Congress, is trying to persuade Washington to reinstate all economic sanctions that were suspended during the negotiations, according to the Associated Press.
The group also wants the US to impose a ban on Iran’s oil exports to other countries and to put more Iranian industries on its blacklist, the report said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned the West against striking a deal with Iran on the country’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the P5+1 countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — wrapped up a week of intense nuclear negotiations in Vienna on November 24.
At the end of the talks, the two sides decided to extend the talks for seven more months. They also agreed that the interim deal they had signed in the Swiss city of Geneva last November remain in place during the remainder of the negotiations until July 1, 2015.
Last week, the White House said that additional sanctions against Iran would be counterproductive.
“We continue to believe that adding on sanctions while negotiations are ongoing would be counterproductive,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry also defended the extension of the talks.
“We have made real and substantial progress, and we have seen new ideas surface,” he said.
However, Republican lawmakers called on Congress to pass new sanctions.
“With the Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, it’s time that we roll up our sleeves and get to work to pass new sanctions,” Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said last week.