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Timing of new Iran sanctions a dilemma for U.S.

Dec. 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Enacting new economic sanctions against Iran would increase the West's leverage in its efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear program, a U.S. congressman said Sunday.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that concessions in the past to Pakistan and North Korea had not curbed their nuclear ambitions and it would be mistake to let Iran off the hook too soon.

"The Iranians know we are serious about sanctions and that would give us leverage for the administration and their talks," McCaul said.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Select Intelligence Committee, said moving too quickly on sanctions would create the impression worldwide that the United States was not serious about a peaceful solution to the standoff. The threat of sanctions, he contended, was appropriate at the present time.

"It will be one thing if the Iranians renege," said Schiff. "If they cheat, then the deal is off. We not only resume the freeze, we add sanctions. But I don't think we should take steps that aren't necessary right now."

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