The White House has announced that additional sanctions against Iran would be counterproductive following the extension of nuclear negotiations.
“We continue to believe that adding on sanctions while negotiations are ongoing would be counterproductive,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.
“The concern that we have is that layering on additional sanctions could leave some of our partners with the impression that this sanctions regime is more punitive in nature than anything else, and that could cause some cracks in that international coordination to appear,” he added.
He also noted that US allies would believe that Washington was “more interested in punishing” Iran than striking a comprehensive agreement.
The US official added that the Obama administration could lose “buy-in” on the negotiations with extra sanctions.
On Monday, Iran and six world powers agreed to extend nuclear talks until July 1, 2015.
In response, Republican lawmakers called on Congress to pass new sanctions as the two sides failed to reach an agreement by November 24 deadline.
“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 on Monday.
During a press conference on Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry defended the extension of the talks.
“We have made real and substantial progress, and we have seen new ideas surface,” Kerry said. “Progress was indeed made on some of the most vexing challenges that we face and we now see the path toward potentially resolving some issues that had been intractable.”