By Julian Pecquet - 10/01/13 12:19 AM EDT
“He just said basically that he believes in the importance that there be cost if Iran continues its nuclear program,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “What we're doing now he strongly thanked us for and said it's having an impact and making it possible for us to negotiate.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Netanyahu gave “very detailed” answers about his views.
“Like all of us, I don't think he wants the negotiations to go on forever,” Corker said. “Obviously letting up on the sanctions is not something any us are interested in. And like all of us, he understands that if there is an agreement it needs to be a full agreement.”
He wouldn't say if Netanyahu pressed the committee for more sanctions.
“I'm not going to answer that,” he said.
The meeting was organized by the committee. A handful of other members showed up – Senate hawks Graham and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) as well as Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Number three Democrat in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made a brief appearance but left before the arrival of Netanyahu, who was running late.
Netanyahu spent four hours meeting with President Obama and Vice-President Biden at the White House earlier in the day before sitting down with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department. The Israeli leader is concerned that Rouhani's calls for talks are a stalling tactic as Iran continues to move forward with its alleged nuclear weapons program.
After he left, the committee quickly voted to approve Caroline Kennedy as the new ambassador to Japan and to reauthorize the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), portions of which expire at the end of the day Monday.
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