"As the details of an interim nuclear deal reached last month in Geneva become clear, Congressional opposition has grown, leaving the White House to sell a deal that even its allies have dubbed as worrisome.
"The White House held a classified briefing with members of Congress on Wednesday to push them against passing new sanctions in 2014, giving Iran at least another year of economic reprieve, according to Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.).
"'They want to convince us not to take any action in the first five or six months of 2014,' Sherman said on the House floor during a Special Order on Iran organized [last] Wednesday evening by Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.). 'That means, in effect, we are not going to take action in 2014.'
'Let’s take a look at this deal and we’ll see [that] what we get out of it is at least overstated by its proponents,' Sherman said, explaining that the deal does not actually halt Iran’s contested uranium enrichment program, as the administration has claimed.
'They will be making very substantial progress toward their eighth, ninth, tenth bomb' as the deal is carried out, Sherman said. 'This agreement provides that Iran makes substantial progress towards more low-enriched uranium, building its stockpile toward a real collection of nuclear bombs.'"
"...Like others, Rep. Rodney Davis (R., Ill.) said that only new sanctions will push Iran to make concessions 'that would eliminate their enrichment capabilities.'"
Yesterday, Kerry argued that imposing new sanctions now would be an "act of bad faith":
"This is a very delicate diplomatic moment. We're at a crossroads. We're at one of those, really, hinge points in history."
Boy, he's got that right. It's just that he's racing to take the wrong road at the crossroads.
I rather like the observation by The Israel Project that at one and the same time the Obama administration is arguing that it was stringent sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table, but that sustaining or increasing those sanctions will now drive Iran away from the table.