Special to WorldTribune.com
The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is “days away” from implementation, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Jan. 7.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “made it clear to me they intend to complete obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible,” Kerry said. “And we are currently engaged ourselves in making certain that we’re prepared to move on that day and I think it could come – without being specific – sooner rather than later,” he added.
Kerry said Iran’s shipment of low-enriched uranium materials to Russia showed “significant progress.”
“With that, Iran literally shipped out its capacity currently to build a nuclear weapon,” Kerry claimed, according to AFP.
Implementation of the deal comes despite a Dec. 2 report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which concluded that Iran made a “coordinated” effort to develop nuclear weapons in the past, and two recent tests by Teheran of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
In fact, a number of President Barack Obama’s closest Democratic allies called on the administration to sanction Iran for the missile tests which are said to be in violation of UN sanctions. The White House notified Congress of impending sanctions and then pulled back without explanation.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chair, joined six other House Democrats in a letter to Obama saying “the United States and our allies must take immediate, punitive action and send a clear message to Iran that violating international laws, treaties, and agreements will have serious consequences.”
The Democrats called on Obama to impose sanctions on Teheran “without further delay” and warned about the risk of holding back in light of the nuclear deal.
“Inaction from the United States would send the misguided message that, in the wake of the [nuclear deal], the international community has lost the willingness to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its support for terrorism and other offensive actions throughout the region,” they wrote.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said “additional work” needs to be done before any announcement of sanctions.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted sanctions would be imposed “at a time and place of our choosing when our experts believe they would have the maximum impact. And those decisions are not subject to negotiation by the Iranians – or anybody else for that matter.”