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Should the United States Impose Additional Sanctions on Iran?

Should the United States Impose Additional Sanctions on Iran?

Last November, Iran agreed to negotiate with the United States and other countries surrounding its nuclear program. The Islamic Republic allegedly suspended its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions while the six-month negotiation process played out.

But some members of Congress support imposing additional economic sanctions on Iran while the talks continue. “Members on both sides of the aisle believe that the Iranians are using this process to try to alleviate the pain of the sanctions without changing their behavior,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a co-sponsor of the bill. “The bottom line is that nothing Iran has agreed to as part of this negotiation that will prevent them from becoming a nuclear power.” 59 Senators are currently co-sponsoring legislation that would add new sanctions. 

Others, though, oppose additional sanctions, saying they could endanger what is currently the most promising series of talks in years. More than 70 House Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama, expressing their desire to give diplomacy a chance:

We remain wary of the Iranian regime. But we believe that robust diplomacy remains our best possible strategic option, and we commend you and your designees for the developments in Geneva. Should negotiations fail or falter, nothing precludes a change in strategy. But we must not imperil the possibility of a diplomatic success before we even have a chance to pursue it.


Obama too opposes additional sanctions, saying in his State of the Union address that he would veto any such bill:

For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. If Iran’s leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions, and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon.


So should the U.S. impose more sanctions on Iran? Here is the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
6,197 Pts
Iran Will Cheat, Unless We Have Insurance

Yes – Iran Will Cheat, Unless We Have Insurance

Raymond Tanter is a former member of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration.

#2
5,134 Pts
Why New Iran Sanctions Are So Important

Yes – Why New Iran Sanctions Are So Important

Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

#3
-4,818 Pts
Congress Did Its Part, Now Let the Diplomats Do Theirs

No – Congress Did Its Part, Now Let the Diplomats Do Theirs

Ryan Crocker is dean and executive professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University.

#4
-4,877 Pts
New Iran Sanctions Could Backfire In a Big Way

No – New Iran Sanctions Could Backfire In a Big Way

Carl Levin is a U.S. Senator from Michigan.

#5
-6,131 Pts
An All-Out Assault on Diplomacy

No – An All-Out Assault on Diplomacy

Jamal Abdi is policy director at the National Iranian American Council.


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