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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Politics Of Iran
President Obama prayed publicly Thursday for the release of two Americans held separately by North Korea and Iran, and said religious freedom “is under threat” around the world.
President Obama emphasized global religious freedom in remarks at the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast, while the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development stressed a social welfare message based on a New Testament passage.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration enters the year locked in a battle with Congress over whether to plow ahead with new economic sanctions against Iran or cautiously wait to see if last year's breakthrough nuclear agreement holds.
In March 2007, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson flew to Kish Island, an Iranian resort awash with tourists, smugglers and organized crime figures. Days later, after an arranged meeting with an admitted killer, he checked out of his hotel, slipped into a taxi and vanished. For years, the U.S. has publicly described him as a private citizen who traveled to the tiny Persian Gulf island on private business.
The wife of an Iranian-American Christian jailed in Iran called on President Obama to demand her husband's release Thursday, the 444th day of his captivity, and to link the Iranian nuclear deal to his freedom.
President Obama acknowledged Saturday that he'd prefer to see a much harsher agreement with Iran, one that not only shuts down the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear program entirely but also eliminates all of its "military capabilities."
In Western political circles, where hopes for lasting detente are now running high, Hassan Rouhani remains a diplomatic darling.
According to our recently proposed treaty with the Iranian government, Iran keeps much of its nuclear program while agreeing to slow its path to weapons-grade enrichment. The Iranians also get crippling economic sanctions lifted.
Following this month's breakthrough in talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program, the U.S., Russia and other world powers are now discussing whether to invite representatives from the Islamic republic to an upcoming peace conference aimed at ending Syria's civil war.
Authorities say a dual citizen of Iran and the United States is accused of trying to acquire surface-to-air missiles and has been charged with conspiracy.
Republican senators are demanding the escalation of sanctions against Iran after two days of nuclear talks in Geneva.
As President Obama arrived in New York ahead of his planned Tuesday speech to the U.N. General Assembly, a key outstanding question is whether he'll sit down with new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a meeting that potentially could signal a shift in relations between the two nations.
Hasan Rowhani, the president-elect of Iran, was part of a special government task force that plotted in 1994 to bomb a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, a terrorist attack that ultimately left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.
The White House congratulated Iranians Saturday on the election of a more moderate president and said the Obama administration "remains ready" to hold direct talks with Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.
Democrats appeared eager Wednesday to poke holes in the seriousness of President Obama's vow to deter Iran from developing a nuclear warhead, raising tough questions about whether the White House is squeezing hard enough on sanctions against the Islamic Republic's economy.