The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has called on President Barack Obama and Congress to toughen and introduce new sanctions against Iran amid an extension to nuclear talks.
“The Obama Administration should toughen sanctions enforcement, and Congress should quickly take up new bipartisan sanctions legislation,” the statement from AIPAC read. “Without new pressure, Iran is unlikely to modify its course.”
AIPAC said it believes that new sanctions “offer the best chance to persuade Tehran to abandon its quest for a nuclear weapons capability.”
Specifically, AIPAC says that new sanctions should include: re-imposing sanctions suspended under the interim deal, phasing out Iranian oil exports and natural gas condensates, as well as strategic sectors of the Iranian economy such as automotive, construction, engineering and manufacturing.
Nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations- U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany – were recently extended until mid-2015 after both sides failed to meet a Nov. 24 deadline.
Under the original interim deal signed in November 2013, Iran was provided with limited sanctions relief as part of efforts to forge a permanent nuclear deal. However, the interim deal has been extended twice as both sides have failed to reach an agreement.
The world powers want Iran to significantly scale back its uranium enrichment program. Under the deal, Iran was also supposed to cooperate with inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, the UN nuclear watchdog agency has criticized Iran for not cooperating and stonewalling its investigation into Iran’s nuclear program.