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Obama Officials Seek Pause on New Iran Penalties

Iran's Natanz nuclear-enrichment facility, shown in a 2007 file photo. White House staff planned on Thursday to caution the Senate against immediately considering new sanctions against Iran (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images). Iran's Natanz nuclear-enrichment facility, shown in a 2007 file photo. White House staff planned on Thursday to caution the Senate against immediately considering new sanctions against Iran (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images).

President Obama's staff planned on Thursday to privately caution the Senate against immediately considering new sanctions legislation his administration believes could hamper nuclear negotiations with Iran, Reuters reported.

Delegates for top Senate panel members were expected to hear the White House case for again postponing consideration of an Iran penalties bill initially scheduled for a September vote on the Senate Banking Committee, according to a high-level Senate staffer. The insider said Democratic Senate leaders could override GOP calls for prompt action on the sanctions proposal, which is designed to bolster pressure on Iran to address concerns that its ostensibly peaceful atomic activities are geared toward development of a nuclear-weapon capability.

A White House spokeswoman said Thursday's meeting is part of "ongoing consultations" with Congress following last week's nuclear negotiations between Iranian diplomats and counterparts from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Plans are in place for a Nov. 7-8 follow-up meeting in Geneva.

In the House of Representatives, legislators appeared satisfied with a Wednesday administration briefing on the ongoing atomic discussions with Iran, Foreign Policy magazine reported. The update came from U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Washington's top delegate to the multilateral talks.

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Iran

This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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