Early Deal Could Block Hawkish Efforts

Early Deal Could Block Hawkish Efforts Early Deal Could Block Hawkish Efforts

A US political analyst says Iran and the White House could thwart efforts by the US Congress to disrupt the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers by striking a comprehensive agreement in the shortest possible time.

Barbara Slavin, who is a non-resident senior fellow at the influential non-partisan Atlantic Council think tank, said, "The best option to neutralize efforts by Republicans during the ongoing nuclear talks is that Tehran and Washington push for an agreement on the nuclear issue in the early days and weeks of 2015."

She made the remarks in an interview with IRNA on Tuesday.  

Republicans and some Democrats at the US Congress have pushed for sanctions to get Iran to agree to a deal that would halt its alleged pursuit of the capability to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is solely for peaceful applications, such electricity generation.

New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday that the upper chamber upon returning to work next month under GOP control will likely make imposing new sanctions on Iran a top priority.

Tehran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed in November to meet a second self-imposed deadline this year to reach a comprehensive settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear work and decided to extend the negotiations on a final deal for seven more months until the end of next June.

They held a new round of talks in Geneva, Switzerland this month. The next round of the negotiations is scheduled to be held on January 15 in the Swiss city.

  Going Cap in Hand to a Goner

Slavin, elsewhere, touched on the remarks by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who spoke of the possibility of the re-imposition of anti-Iran sanctions during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying, "The main problem with persons like Lindsey Graham and the likes is that they have gone cap in hand to a person who may even in the coming days no longer be the prime minister of Israel."

Senator Lindsey Graham had said in a press conference on Saturday that the Senate will vote on bipartisan sanctions legislation on Iran despite the ongoing nuclear negotiations.

Slavin also said, "One should not expect Republicans at Congress to remain silent and take no action to derail the nuclear talks … even if Republicans at Congress could secure enough votes to pass an anti-Iran bill; the president could use its executive powers and veto such bills."

US President Barak Obama recently told NPR News that there are some areas that the White House and Congress are in disagreement; however, he have not used "the veto pen very often" since he came into office "partly because legislation that I objected to was typically blocked in the Senate even after… Republicans took over the House."

"Now I suspect there are going to be some times where I've got to pull that pen out. And I'm going to defend gains that we've made in health care; I'm going to defend gains that we've made on environment and clean air and clean water," Obama added.

Slavin went on to say that an early agreement with Iran "would not only put an end to efforts by neo-conservatives to sabotage the nuclear talks but also would have various positive implications for the Middle East region."

One of the upshots of such an agreement is that Iran and the US could get engaged in "serious" talks to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Syria, she added.