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October 12, 2012 8:07 am

Biden Touts Iran Sanctions, Ryan Notes Admin Tried to Weaken Them

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Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan at their Oct. 11 debate. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

While U.S. Vice President Joe Biden used his Oct. 11 debate with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to tout the current administration’s Iran sanctions as “the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions,” Ryan noted the administration’s efforts to weaken those sanctions before they were passed.

“The Administration has been blocking sanctions for years,” said Ryan, presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate. “When [President] Barack Obama was elected, [Iran] had enough fissile material—nuclear material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five. They’re racing toward a nuclear weapon. They’re four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.”

President Obama waited until New Year’s weekend to sign sanctions that were passed by the U.S. Senate 100-0 on Dec. 2, 2011, and at the time said he would treat them as “non-binding” if they interfere with his constitutional authority.

Biden posed the following in response to Ryan: “Imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there’s any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies?”

Intelligence and military officials in the U.S. and Israel “are absolutely in the same exact place in terms of how close the Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon,” Biden said, noting that the Iranians “are a good ways away.”

Ryan, however, said the Iranians “see this administration trying to water down sanctions in Congress for over two years, see the U.S. wanting more space with our ally Israel.”

“They see President Obama in New York City the same day Bibi Netanyahu is and he, instead of meeting with him, goes on a daily talk show… When they see us putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in Israel, that gives them encouragement,” Ryan said.

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