White House: Iran sanctions will be lifted in phases
White House press secretary Josh Earnest has said that the removal of sanctions against Iran as part of a final nuclear agreement should be phased.
“It has never been our position that all of the sanctions against Iran should be removed from day one,” he told reporters on Monday.
Earnest added that Washington could foresee a point at which sanctions could be dismantled, but only after “sustained compliance over a long period of time.”
Iran, however, insists all sanctions, imposed against the country over its nuclear program, should be removed immediately when Iran and the P5+1 group start implementing a final deal.
A landmark framework agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – in Switzerland on April 2.
The two sides announced the agreement in a joint statement at the end of eight days of nuclear negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne last week. They will work to draw up a final accord by the end of the June 30 deadline.
This is while American lawmakers opposing the framework agreement are planning a formal response to the deal in spite of President Barack Obama’s warning to veto new sanctions on Tehran.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday criticized the deal and said it should not reduce “pressure” on the Islamic Republic.
“The administration needs to explain to the Congress and the American people why an interim agreement should result in reduced pressure on” Iran, the Republican senator said in a statement.
“The Senate will review these parameters more thoroughly” and “respond legislatively,” he said.
McConnell also repeated his pledge to examine legislation proposed by Senators Bob Corker and Bob Menendez requiring Congress to review any final nuclear deal with Iran.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to approve the bill on April 14.
The bill would also ban the White House from lifting any sanctions for a period of 60 days so that Congress could hold hearings and debate the deal.