‘We’ll never go back’: Obama on Russia sanctions and ‘safer’ Iran nuclear deal
President Barack Obama has made clear that the United States will never go away from its longstanding support for the European Union and its sanctions against Russia.
In a new address on Wednesday, Obama reiterated that “we will never let Russia or Iran or any other country in the region or elsewhere in the world undermine our democracy, our alliances, our security or our prosperity.”
But he also made clear his administration’s commitment to maintaining the sanctions on Russia imposed in response to its aggression in Ukraine.
“We are going to continue to work with our European partners and with the world community to put an end to this behavior, to punish those who do this,” Obama said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
“That is a very important part of the American legacy and we’ll never give up that.” “
The president, who is expected to meet with the heads of other major European nations on Thursday, said that he has already made clear he intends to pursue a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine, including a referendum on Russian annexation of Crimea. “
That is a very important part of the American legacy and we’ll never give up that.”
The president, who is expected to meet with the heads of other major European nations on Thursday, said that he has already made clear he intends to pursue a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine, including a referendum on Russian annexation of Crimea.
Obama has also made it clear he plans to seek a comprehensive deal with Iran, and he is considering lifting sanctions against it if it agrees to the lifting of its nuclear weapons.
“Iran is a dangerous country,” Obama added, “but we must do everything we can to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
He did not mention Russia or its president, Hassan Rouhani, by name.
Obama’s comments come as the White House continues to seek congressional approval for a bill that would give the president unilateral authority to impose sanctions on Iran, in a move that could open the door for the president to impose further sanctions.
The president’s remarks came as Republicans and Democrats clashed over the House GOP bill that the president will sign on Thursday.
The House GOP’s bill would give him the power to impose punitive sanctions against any Iranian person, company, or business that has violated the terms of the nuclear agreement.
That bill is also likely to face a challenge from Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
“There’s a very good chance we won’t get the votes,” Murphy said Wednesday.
“I think that the Senate will take up the bill and then we’ll be on the same page.
But if I were to bet, I’d say I would not be surprised to see a resolution passed.”
In addition to imposing additional sanctions on Russian entities, the bill also imposes new financial penalties on Iran for its role in the Iran nuclear program and would authorize Congress to block future sanctions against Iran.