Obama Pressures Jewish Groups Not to Lobby for New Iran Sanctions
President Barack Obama is pressuring Jewish and pro-Israel organizations not to lobby for new sanctions against Iran, which Congress is considering this month. The Obama administration wants to give Iran time prove its good faith in new diplomatic efforts to resolve concerns about its nuclear program.
Last month, the Obama administration enlisted Jewish and pro-Israel groups to lobby for military action in Syria.
The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that "national security advisor Susan Rice, her deputies Ben Rhodes and Tony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman" met with "four major American Jewish organizations" and that there was a "serious exchange" over policy towards Iran.
Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper identified the four groups as "the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, the Anti Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee."
Earlier this month, Sherman had asked Congress to delay new sanctions that would severely restrict Iranian global oil sales.
The major sticking point in negotiations is that Iran insists on its "right" to enrich uranium. Current UN Security Council resolutions prohibit Iran from enriching uranium. The Obama administration has offered compromises such as allowing Iran to conduct a limited amount of enrichment.
Israel has argued that Iran should be prevented from enriching any uranium at all, given the potential for its use in nuclear weapons.