Iran nuclear talks extended, so Congress might turn up the heat

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
by Howard LaFranchi
November 24, 2014

The extension of Iran nuclear talks into next summer – with the broad outlines of a deal to be reached in principal by March – would seem to put off any confrontation with Iran well into 2015. But much could depend on reaction in Congress, where already intense skepticism of any deal with Iran is likely to grow only stronger once Republicans take control of the Senate and reinforce their majority in the House in January.

Early reaction to the announcement out of Vienna Monday that talks will be extended another seven months was muted, with “no deal is better than a bad deal” typifying immediate response. But a bipartisan group of congressional leaders [with encouragement of AIPAC] seems likely to push ahead on a new round of sanctions on Iran, acting from the position that it is sanctions that have kept Iran at the negotiating table – and that a further turning of the screws would focus minds further in the coming months of negotiations.

“This seven-month extension should be used to tighten the economic [vise] on Tehran – already suffering from falling energy prices – to force to force the concessions that Iran has been resisting,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R) of California, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement…..

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