Player of the Week: John Kerry

Greg Nash

Secretary of State John Kerry will be on Capitol Hill this week, huddling with lawmakers on a possible deal with Iran.

Many skeptical Republicans and Democrats in Congress don’t want to lift any sanctions on Iran, and they are pressing for new ones.

The House this summer passed an Iran sanctions bill, 400-20. But the White House has urged legislators to hit the brakes.

Kerry believes that Iran’s new leadership offers an opportunity for a historic agreement.

But the devil’s in the details.

Reports indicate that in exchange for lifting sanctions, Iran would agree to stop enriching uranium, but not completely.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ripped that potential trade, saying that any deal must mandate that Iran dismantle its existing centrifuges and the Arak nuclear reactor.

France has also criticized the tentative U.S.-Iran deal. That opposition has been touted by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

During an appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Kerry said, “We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid. I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe.”

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kerry’s successor as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has indicated he might move forward with new sanctions in the upper chamber.

During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Menendez said, “I think that the possibility of moving ahead with new sanctions, including wording it in such a way that if there is a deal that is acceptable that those sanctions could cease upon such a deal, is possible.”

Menendez added it would be “an incentive to the Iranians to know what’s coming if you don’t strike a deal.”

If an agreement is struck, it won’t satisfy everyone. But Kerry knows that Menendez’s support is vital.