Rockefeller urges colleagues to let Iran deal work

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) urged his colleagues Wednesday to allow diplomatic efforts with Iran to go forward without the Senate passing any additional sanctions.

“If there is any chance at all that new sanctions right now might disrupt the agreement … why on earth would we risk that?” Rockefeller said on the Senate floor. 

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The administration has agreed to give Iran six months of some sanction relief and in exchange Iran will stop trying to develop a nuclear weapon and turn over some materials to the international community.

Some lawmaker have complained that Iran can’t be trusted to follow through on the agreement, but Rockefeller said the Senate should give the administration time to make the deal work otherwise it could lead to military action.

“If we lose this diplomatic opportunity, then the use of force will be the only option to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb,” Rockefeller said. “We can do it peacefully, let’s not now put that at risk.”

The Obama administration is seeking to convince Congress to delay new sanctions on Iran, arguing they could derail diplomatic talks.

Last month, the administration reached the interim six-month deal in Geneva.

There is little time for Congress to act on new sanctions with the House finishing work for the year on Friday and the Senate adjourning next week.

Julian Pecquet contributed to this article.