WH 'Disappointed' Key Democrat Opposes Iran Deal

- VOA News,August 8, 2015

The White House says it is "disappointed" but not "surprised" that one of the top Democrats in the U.S. Senate came out against the pending nuclear deal with Iran.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday the senator, Chuck Schumer, has had a difference of opinion with President Barack Obama going back to 2003, referring to Schumer's vote and support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In a statement explaining his concerns, Schumer said the inspections regime was inadequate.  He also expressed concern the money freed up by the sanctions relief will allow Iran to increase its funding for militant groups across the Middle East, further destabilizing the region.

The decision by Schumer, who is expected to take over as Democratic leader in the Senate in 2017, was seen as a serious setback for the Obama administration, which is struggling to gain congressional backing for the Iran nuclear deal.  On Thursday, one of the top Democrats in the House of Representatives, Eliot Engel, also announced his opposition to the pact.

Meanwhile, the United States said it is "very concerned" about Western media reports that the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force in recently visited Russia in violation of a U.N. travel ban.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, on Friday said officials are seeking details about the reported trip.

Fox News and the Reuters news service both reported that Soleimani arrived in Moscow on July 24 for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Soleimani has been the subject of an international travel ban and asset freeze by the U.N. Security Council for nearly a decade.

白宫对民主党要人反对伊核协议表遗憾

- 美国之音,2015年8月8日

白宫对一名重量级民主党参议员公开反对伊朗核协议表示“失望”但是“并不出乎意料”。

这个协议正等待国会批准。

白宫发言人欧内斯特星期五说,参议员舒默早在2003年就与奥巴马总统持不同意见,他指的是当时舒默投票赞成美国出兵伊拉克。

舒默发表声明对他的担忧做出解释说,对伊核项目的检查机制不够。他还表示担心取消对伊朗制裁后带来的资金将使伊朗可以增加对中东各地激进组织提供资金,进一步带来中东地区不稳定。

舒默预计2017年将成为参议院民主党领袖,他的这一决定被认为是奥巴马政府受到的一个严重挫折。奥巴马政府正艰难设法赢得国会对伊核协议的支持。星期四,一名重量级民主党众议员恩格尔已经宣布反对该协议。

与此同时,美国表示对西方媒体报道的伊朗精锐部队圣城旅指挥官最近访问俄罗斯表示“严重关切”。他的访问违反了联合国的旅行禁令。

美国驻联合国大使鲍尔星期五说,有关官员正在了解有关这次行程的细节。

美国福克斯新闻和路透社都报道,苏莱曼尼7月24号抵达莫斯科,与俄罗斯总统普京和俄防长绍伊古会面。

苏莱曼尼一直被禁止国际旅游,他的财产也被联合国安理会冻结了将近10年。