White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks about topics including the NSA and intelligence gathering reforms during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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The White House declined Friday to renew its previous prediction that a Senate bill slapping new sanctions on Iran, which it fears could scupper nuclear talks, would not pass the Senate.Lawmakers who support the bill say tough sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and stiffer measures would increase Obama's leverage in talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of world powers.In a Washington Post editorial, Menendez described the initiative as a "diplomatic insurance policy" against Iran.He said his bill would impose immediate extra sanctions on Iran if it became necessary but would not come into force while "good faith" negotiations were under way.It remains unclear when the sanctions bill could be brought up in the Senate.The White House first warned US lawmakers back in November that tightening sanctions on Iran could box the United States into a "march to war" and derail a diplomatic push to limit Tehran's atomic program.
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