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Obama Asks Senate to Delay New Iranian Sanctions, to Give Talks a Chance

Despite the fact that talks with Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani seem to be going much better, and progress is being made to resolving the conflict with the West, the US Senate, behind closed doors, is still debating new sanctions to further restrict oil exports and choke the nation’s economy.

Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and told them that the Senate is putting together a set of new sanctions that will cut Iran’s oil sales in half within a year, to 500,000 barrels a day.

Due to a conflict over Iran’s nuclear program and uranium enrichment operations, Western countries have imposed various sanctions that work to dissuade customers to buy Iranian oil, and prevent foreign entities from trading with Iranian banks. Since 2012 US and European sanctions have cut Iran’s oil exports from around 2.5 million barrels a day to 1 million barrels a day.

The proposed new sanctions are not as severe as some that were passed by the House of Representatives in July which aimed to cut Iranian oil exports to zero, but analysts have claimed that these were just unrealistic.

Related article: Oil and Politics: Who will Take over from the US in the Middle East?

The progress made in recent talks with President Rouhani has led many to believe that the sanctions may begin to be lifted as Iran seem willing to comply with some of the demands made by the West, which will help to build trust between the two sides.

Menendez, however, has stated that this is not the time to loosen sanctions;” believing that the willingness to find a solution is a sign that Iran is finally feeling the pressure.

Menendez explained that the sanctions would persuade countries such as China, India, South Korea, Turkey, and Japan to further slash there imports from Iran.

Reuters claims that the Obama Administration has told the Senate to delay any new sanctions in order to give the talks a chance.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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