SF Gate- A showdown is looming in the Senate next month over increased U.S. sanctions on Iran that could unravel a tentative international agreement over Iranian nuclear development, with President Obama on one side and Israel on the other. And California’s senators, Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, usually staunch allies of Israel, are both siding with Obama.
The Nov. 24 agreement requires Iran to freeze its nuclear program, halt work on a heavy-water reactor and stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent of purity, far below the weapons-grade level. It also provides for daily inspections by international weapons monitors. In exchange, the international community agreed to suspend some of the sanctions, to the tune of $7 billion a year, that have frozen transactions with Iranian oil, banking and other industries. The six-month deal, intended as a prelude to a long-term agreement, was approved by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and the U.S., Great Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany.